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Innovation pedagogy is "a learning approach focused on the development of innovation competences, defining how knowledge is assimilated, produced and used in a manner that can create innovations". Innovation competences are learning outcomes that refer to knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for the innovation activities to be successful. The humanistic way of understanding people as the creators of their own future forms the philosophical foundations of innovation pedagogy. The concept also can be described as follows: innovation pedagogy as “a didactic operational model based on the socio-cultural perception of learning that supports the work of universities of applied sciences as a part of regional competence and innovation networks. Applied research and development activities that support regional development and the production of innovations in working life are integrated into multidisciplinary teaching in accordance with the principles of innovation pedagogy. The education offered by the university promotes entrepreneurship and includes service activities while taking into account both the needs of the region as a whole as well as the constantly changing trends of working life.”
Changes in the working life and surrounding global environment necessitate that skills and attitudes matching the new requirements are consciously and systematically developed along with the students’ knowledge bases. Social and interactive skills, cultural abilities, understanding the prerequisites for working with customers, preparedness for entrepreneurship, creativity and problem solving skills as well as tolerance for difference and uncertainty are the kind of attitudes and skills that a future professional should have.
Learning environments where students of different fields are daily in contact with each other offer new interfaces for working. Such surroundings are known to be best when innovations are expected. In addition, an innovative approach to teaching and learning are also needed as well as enthusiasm for trying new methods. In the context of innovation pedagogy, innovations are seen as an integral part of the process of constantly improving know-how as well as generating new sustainable ideas and practices applicable in working life.
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