Graeme Aitken. Innovation: Lamborghini or Lemon?

Wiggins holds that educators are obliged to cause:

  • Successful learning (achievement)
  • Greater interest and
  • Greater confidence

Aitken suggests we evaluate innovations again these three things, but also suggests we are not successful as educators unless we create the intersection of all three. Causing greater achievement alone is not enough. Drilling and rote learning doesn’t cause greater interest or confidence.

Educators can waste students’ time in three key ways:

  • Misalignment (not doing the core business of the task)
  • Disengagement
  • Lack of success

What good teachers do is increase the amount of academic learning time in all three areas. A mirage innovation might increase one area, but not all.
Evaluates a lesson in terms of: Alignment, achievement, interest and confidence
Suggests a methodology for evaluating lessons or units could be:

Rate the extent to which each of these increased your interest in what you were learning:

  • Did not increase my interest at all;
  • had a moderate increase in my level of interest,
  • had a huge increase in my level of interest

Your degree of confidence
Please rate how certain you are about you ability to do each of the thing listed below by writing the appropriate number:

  • To what extent can you answer questions about the work in this unit?
  • Make a well-informed contribution to a discussion about …
  • Clearly explain what you have learned in this unit to someone else
  • Can you use the ideas and skills you have learned in this unit in some other unit or subject?


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