Centre pour la Recherche et l'Innovation dans l'Enseignement - CERI

Innovative Learning Environments Publication


Executive summary || Table of contents || How to obtain this publication



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ISBN: 9789264203471
Publication: 25/09/2013


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Innovative Learning Environments

How to design a powerful learning environment so that learners can thrive in the 21st century? OECD’s Innovative Learning Environments (ILE) is an ambitious international study that responds to this challenging question. The study earlier released the influential publication The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice. This companion volume is based on 40 in-depth case studies of powerful 21st century learning environments that have taken the innovation journey.

Innovative Learning Environments presents a wealth of international material and features a new framework for understanding these learning environments, organised into eight chapters. Richly illustrated by the many local examples, it argues that a contemporary learning environment should:

  • Innovate the elements and dynamics of its "pedagogical core".
  • Become a "formative organisation" through strong design strategies with corresponding learning leadership, evaluation and feedback.
  • Open up to partnerships to grow social and professional capital, and to sustain renewal and dynamism.
  • Promote 21st century effectiveness through the application of the ILE learning principles.

In conclusion it offers pointers to how this can be achieved, including the role of technology, networking, and changing organisational cultures. This report will prove to be an invaluable resource for all those interested in schooling. It will be of particular interest to teachers, education leaders, parents, teacher educators, advisors and decision-makers, as well as the research community.

Executive Summary


Innovation is a key element of today’s societies and economies, and that includes how we learn. This report looks at inspiring cases of innovative learning environments from across the globe, as part of the OECD’s Innovative Learning Environments (ILE) project.

The project has gathered 125 examples from more than 20 countries and carried out detailed case study research on 40 of them. These cases have been identified within their own system as significant departures from mainstream learning arrangements for younger
children or older teenagers, while promising to meet the ambitious objectives needed for the 21st century.

In this report, a “learning environment” is as an organic, holistic concept - an ecosystem that includes the activity and the outcomes of the learning. Some of the innovations examined are in places called schools and others are not; in either case, the report argues in favour of different units of analysis than the institutional variables of “school” or “classroom” when the aim is to understand and to innovate learning. More appropriate units have been shaped into a new framework that provides the structure of this report.

This report analyses in detail the practices revealed in the case studies. It lets the cases “speak for themselves”


Table of contents


  • Foreword
  • Executive summary
  • Chapter 1: Learning environments and innovative practice
  • Chapter 2: The learners in the case study learning environments
  • Chapter 3: Innovating the elements of the pedagogical core
  • Chapter 4: Innovating dynamics within learning environments
  • Chapter 5: Designing formative learning organisations
  • Chapter 6: Extending learning environments throught partnerships
  • Chapter 7: The Nature of Learning principles revisited
  • Chapter 8: Creating and sustaining innovative learning
  • Annex A: The case study sites
  • Annex B: The Innovative Learning Environments "Universe" and the case study protocols in brief
  • Figures
  • Tables
  • Boxes

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