The world that our learners will enter when they leave school has changed dramatically from the world that traditional education prepared students for. The changes are ongoing and our education system must meet the challenges they pose.
The Education Review Office (ERO) visited 12 schools to see how they were preparing their students as 21st century learners. Leaders were innovative, rethinking and transforming teaching and learning to equip students with the knowledge, skills and qualifications required for their future. In doing so, they also maximised learning opportunities offered by digital technology and flexible learning spaces
ERO’s findings show that to be successful innovators school leaders:
The report also describes how different schools addressed challenges they encountered.
Some of these schools have traditional classrooms, some have older buildings that have been renovated, and some have new buildings; some have digital devices throughout the school and some do not. Digital technology and flexible learning spaces can certainly aid innovation but are not in and of themselves the critical elements. What is critical is the teaching, personalised and focused on valued student outcomes.
While all schools are different, each school can nevertheless establish its own innovative learning environment. How it does this will be unique, but it is likely to align with the examples of good practice described in this report.
The appendices to this report provide resources that can guide thinking, promote discussion, and assist with internal evaluation.
This report should encourage school leaders and teachers to be innovative, to see:
Above all, we hope the report gives leaders and teachers the confidence to change what they need to change, and to put in place evidence-supported practices that will equip all their students to be successful in their future.
 This refers to the whole context in which learning takes place. It encompasses the physical space, the social aspects and the pedagogy experienced by the learners.