Encouraging Educational Innovations Through Competitive Institutional Arrangements


  • University of Illinois, Department of Educational Organization and Leadership, Champaign, IL, 61820, United States


Policymakers increasingly recognize the need to encourage educational innovations as a way to give all children access to quality schooling. Standardized systems have failed underserved and marginalized communities; state-run systems are often oriented to the preferences of bureaucrats and special interests, rather than the needs of students. Thus, theorists point to alternative organizational structures as a means to animate market-style incentives, thereby inducing school managers to be more entrepreneurial in responding to consumer demand for education. This paper surveys educational innovations in a number of nations that have embraced private sector models to aid in educational provision and innovation, including Canada, Chile, England/Wales, India, New Zealand, and the United States. The review suggests that decentralized structural arrangements have been more successful at producing innovations in areas such as governance, contracting, employment and marketing. Classroom-level innovations are more often a product of professional impulses, often within the state sector.


Innovation, Incentives, Governance, Curriculum, Pedagogy.

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