Teacher Innovation.

The Saint Lucia Education Innovation Lab is an initiative administered by Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia Inc, in collaboration with the Department of Education, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training. Launched in May 2021, it has engaged a small group of 45 teachers and approximately 20 education administrators in a human-centered approach to innovation. The purpose of these innovation experiences in which teacher teams engage, is to empower teachers and position them as key agents of education reform in the system.

The vast experience of teachers, coupled with their intimate knowledge of issues and opportunities that exist at the classroom level, make them well-placed to explore and design solutions that meet the needs of end users.

Wind turbines standing on a grassy plain, against a blue sky.

Education administrators, such as District Education Officers, Education Officers and technical officers of Units such as Special Education, Early Childhood, TVET, CAMDU and Assessment play a vital role in managing teacher-led innovation projects. They gather not just promising solutions that can be appropriately scaled within the education system, but they also capture insights that benefit education priorities.

Closing discussions with the teacher teams at the end of the cycle revealed numerous insights. As teachers explored the problem or the opportunity space, they spoke with other educators to determine how that problem was experienced by others. In the process, they uncovered assumptions that they needed to validate, before the best solution could be designed. For instance, one teacher team found that the strategy identified for assessing students virtually- student made video recordings- needed to become a part of everyday classroom practices. Further, they raised questions about access, parental permission and involvement and even issues of managing the storage of these files.

Other teams saw how their ideas intersected with present Department of Education priorities, in the sharing of best practices and teacher-made resources.

Ideas explored by seven teacher teams who participated in the first cycle of teacher-led innovation activities.

Present content development with the OECS iLearn initiative and ongoing curriculum review are both opportunities for teacher experience to be at the forefront of education improvements.

Addressing special education needs, and psycho-social development of stakeholders continue to be priorities in the education system, and teacher teams engaged in deep assessment of the systems available to teachers for meeting these needs, for both students and teachers.
You can read up on the outcomes and insights for each teacher-led project here
From May 2022, teams will continue into a second cycle of teacher-led innovations. These projects may build on those that began in the first cycle, or may continue along a parallel path to explore an assumption discovered in cycle one. Other teams will explore fresh ideas as they address issues in the classrooms, at their schools, or in the system at large.