6.7 Skills for innovation
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The national curriculum for upper secondary schools includes subjects and topics supporting the innovation skills of students. Entrepreneurship education is explicitly referred to in the national curricula and is described in detail in chapter 3.8.
In addition, the curriculum also defines „Technology and innovation“ as a cross-curricular topic. The cross-curricular topic “Technology and innovation” strives to shape the pupils into people who are open to innovation and who can expediently use modern technology and cope in rapidly changing technological living, learning and working environments. The pupils are guided to:
- acquire knowledge about how technology functions and what its development trends are in different spheres of life;
- comprehend the influence of technological innovation on how people work and live, on their quality of life and the environment today and in the past;
- understand the mutual influences and connections of technological, economic, social and cultural innovation;
- comprehend and critically assess the positive and negative effects of technological development and develop balanced opinions on ethical issues of technological development and the corresponding applications;
- use information and communication technology (ICT) to solve vital problems and make learning and working more efficient; and
- develop creativity, cooperation and initiative skills when implementing innovative ideas in various projects.
Covering the cross-curricular topic on this level of study focuses on the group works and research projects in the school. The goal is to develop positive attitudes towards technological innovation and related career possibilities, to ensure preparedness for all pupils to use ICT in everyday life, studies and work.
In vocational training the Vocational Education Standard, which defines uniform requirements for vocational training, there is competence “Initiative and entrepreneurship” defined as a result, that should be achieved in the vocational training. Students are guided to:
- think systematically and creatively, to evaluate the ideas critically and to find opportunities to implement them;
- initiate, develop and implement ideas;
- have an initial knowledge about entrepreneurship
- be able to draft a personal short and long-term career plan with guidance;
- find independently opportunities for further studies and employment;
- connect training with labour market demands.
Teachers capability of developing skills for innovation is generally supported through tools and training concerned with entrepreneurship education support. Please see chapter 3.8. for more information.
Youth work in Estonia by its guiding principles defined in the Youth Work Act aims to “support the initiative of young people” which includes supporting new ideas and endeavours young people are developing and also supporting competencies to develop and implement ideas. The whole youth work sector therefore in all its forms has to find ways to fulfil this aim including youth work in youth centres, hobby schools, youth organisations, summer camps, etc. To support the development of innovation in youth work a “Smart Youth Work concept” was approved. Please see chapter 6.8. for more information.