Prototyping an Innovation Curriculum - HELP!

For the last 20 years I have been an English teacher and have spent much time happily rolling around in the English Curriculum, unpicking the strands and unpacking the achievement objectives, all part and parcel of the the learning design process for any English course or module.

This year I am, for the first time, taking on the role of Project Guide for Impact Projects, with a specific focus on Independent Innovation Projects. Whilst we do have a brilliant Projects Curriculum and a very clear framework for teaching and learning the projects process I did find myself wondering about the specifics of an Innovation Project. How can we teach students to be innovative? Can you even teach innovation? Or should it simply about providing the conditions and space for innovation? What if Innovation became a learning area?

What might an Innovation Curriculum look like?

Notes from the meet up
On Saturday I was lucky enough to be part of a meet up which bought together innovators,  entrepreneurs, academics, scientists, tech specialists, business leaders and the like, so I thought this just might be an excellent opportunity to let the hive brain do the work for me. It was only a short session, just enough time for us to talk our selves in a good few circles often coming back to whether you could even teach innovation at all. People did however agree that there were a few concepts skills and dispositions that may be useful for su[porting innovation or innovative thinking.

So for the sake of a first stab at framing up Innovation as if it were a Learning Area I've had a go at thinking about what an Innovation curriculum could look like....sort of...maybe. Note - I am absolutely, unapologetically making this up as I go along.

Note about context - the following is intended to be taught within/alongside the students completing their own social innovation project. 


What is Innovation about?
Innovation is defined as the action or process of innovating. Innovation is the study of effectively developing new methods, ideas or products.

Learning Area Structure

Three Strands: Innovation Concepts, Innovation Skills, Dispositions for Innovation

Innovation Concepts
In the Innovation Concepts strand students will develop an understanding of what innovation is. They will develop an understanding of what an innovation framework or model may look like (by exploring models such as design thinking and agile methodology). Students will explore different types of innovation such as product, process, structure, service etc.

Innovation Skills
In the Innovation Skills strand students will focus on developing the skills needed to support the innovation process of their choice. Students will develop skills in the areas of problem identification (e.g. empathy mapping), ideation, prototyping (e.g. lean canvas), refining, testing and evaluation.

Dispositions for Innovation
In the Dispositions for Innovation strand students will develop an understanding of the dispositions that support innovation. Students will be supported to develop empathy, creativity, adaptability and resilience. Students may research an innovator of the choice??

Arghhh! The more I try to capture this curriculum idea the less clear it becomes. I really need feedback. What do you think?? Cann innovation be taught?? If so, how might you go about it? Is there an Innovation Curriculum out there already? If so I'd love to see. Any suggestions, feedback or ideas would be hugely appreciated.


  1. Have you looked at the Innovators DNA? Might have some useful ideas


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