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On Strategies of Educational Innovation: Between Substitution and Transformation

HETIJHEEP Volume 47, Number 4, ISSN 0018-1560


The innovation of education seems to be self-evident. Boosted by a wide range of new technologies, educational institutes all over the world are innovating their educational systems, in order to extend their services, to improve their performances or to reduce costs. The apparent self-evidence of educational innovation hardly prompts the educational staff to reflect on the very idea of innovation and its consequences. This paper treats the basic principles that support the phenomenon of technology-induced educational innovation. It aims to contribute to a better insight and understanding of its implications to anyone engaged in education. It also aims to effect a growing awareness of the premises on technology and to support the right attitude to realise improvements in practice. The paper goes into strategies of change, while discussing both substitutional and transformational strategies. It explains its supposed differences by referring to the philosophical frameworks of Jaspers, Heidegger and Borgmann. Starting from Borgmann's "devices paradigm'', four principles for educational innovations are formulated, referring to the transparency and interactivity of educational technologies, the socio-cultural significance of products, the importance of values beyond efficiency and the political bias involved with technological innovation.


Westera, W. (2004). On Strategies of Educational Innovation: Between Substitution and Transformation. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning, 47(4), 501-517. Retrieved August 22, 2019 from .

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