Turku University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 38-47
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth are set as the targets in the communication from the European Commission “Europe 2020”. In Finland the activities needed to boost this development are defined in the innovation strategy given out by Finnish government. Improving the productivity and competitiveness of the national economy will only be possible if the innovation policy can be given a broader basis and made more efficient. Skilled and capable workforce as well as research and development are essential in boosting innovation activities. Education has a very central role in development of human innovation skills. In this process Universities of Applied Sciences are key players as one of their key activities according to the legislation is to act as an active developer in the surrounding region and economy.
Learning is a gradual process, which consists of collecting, assimilating and adapting new information. In other words, learning happens when new information is added to existing mental data structures in the learner’s mind. According to innovation research, knowledge and skills of knowledge application play a crucial role when creating innovations. Thus, creating new services, products and organisational or social innovations requires knowledge and skills, which are applied in an innovation process. Traditionally, the role of education has been to give knowledge-based readiness, which later would be applied in practice to various innovation processes in working life. However, simultaneously applying the principles of constructive learning theory and innovation theory in education could lead to an operational model, through which it would be possible to determine how to support the development of students' innovation skills from the very beginning of their studies. Consequently, the traditional gap between 'theoretical teaching' and 'practical requirements of working life' would be filled, enhancing the professional growth of students during their studies. For instance, innovations can be created already in the educational context by working in multi-disciplinary teams together with companies and other organisations; additionally, innovation skills can be scaled more accurately to adapt them to future working environments.
The learning conditions in Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) are exceptional in many ways: the students carry out their studies in an environment designed to be multidisciplinary from the very beginning. In this environment, engineering, design, business and sustainable development students tackle common development problems already during their studies. The setting provides various interdisciplinary contact surfaces and, consequently, opportunities for cultivating professional skills needed for producing innovations. In this environment the need for a new approach for learning became evident. In this environment the concept of innovation pedagogy was born and defined as “an approach to learning which gives a new definition to how knowledge is adopted, produced and used to enhance creating innovations”. In this paper, we provide justification to this new concept and explain its background. In this paper we further develop the already published ideas behind innovation pedagogy and define the innovation competencies this pedagogical approach is aiming to enhance.
Innovation pedagogy, competencies, new creating learning, universities of applied sciences, co-operation with working life.