Renee Rainville
Ambassador, Academy, Advisory

Renee Rainville

York, United Kingdom

The best education one can acquire is that which is personally meaningful and fulfilling. No one can be taught, but we can all be inspired to learn. Igniting passion for learning is where innovation lies.

My mission is to empower people to embrace their natural abilities for communication, creativity and perspective.  I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to become intimate with various education systems around the world while living in Mexico, Qatar, United Kingdom and United States..  I enjoy being immersed in new cultures and work to expand cross-cultural communication and understanding by highlighting the beauty I see. My focus on creativity and communication brings me into contact with people who love to innovate.  

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

Community and collaboration are keys to innovation. Our education systems are diverse and similar at the same time. As a part of the HundrED Community, I continue to be inspired by what is possible and heartened by seeing that so many are ready for change, ready to explore beyond what we believe and know about education. I hope to bring my perspective and combine it with the perspective of people worldwide, sparking the fire of curiosity and creative thinking as we ensure that education is seen and treated as a cornerstone in the world economy.

How can education support students to flourish?

Education is a broad term. It is a lifelong learning mindset and continued curiosity that help students to flourish. We must continue to inspire teachers to explore ways to create educational environments that allow this to develop. We must continually question how the current education systems and those of the near past have affected students socially, emotionally and in their preparedness for the uncertainty of the global environment. Children are naturally curious; we must ask ourselves what practices maintain this curiosity. We must ensure their holistic health—emotional, mental, physical--and then they flourish.

What role does innovation play in education change?

Education is one of the most important structures in society. It holds within it an awareness of perspectives--cultural, economic, and political. Change that comes too fast without proper thought, planning and actions will be short-lived and low impact. It must identify risks to all stakeholders and ease change out to them, meeting them halfway then guiding them in, providing emotional and analytical support on the way. Innovation comes alongside proper structures that ensure long-term stability and acceptance. Success lies in incremental change over time. Innovation for innovation’s sake undermines change in education. We must be careful not to convert the noun innovation into a buzzword concept. Innovation will continue to incorporate the building blocks of learning with current and future structures. It will change how students think and learn.

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

All innovations have value and will speak to people differently.  As I went through the various categories, my eye was drawn to innovations that are accessible in different learning environments and help  diminish learning gaps.

1. Equitable Student Broadcasting.  This innovation speaks to the possibility of high impact using existing structures and materials. It brings students closer to the school community as well as the local community and, my favourite characteristic, it is student-led.

2. (Don't) Guess My Race.  Misconceptions lead to fear and marginalisation.  This innovation addresses this in an accessible, online environment.  Providing opportunity for students to breakdown these misconceptions around race and identity will pave the way for open, trusting collaboration.

3. G.A.I.T.: Grooming Artistic Innovation and Talent. Movement and Imagination are anchors for curiosity and life-long learning. This innovation works through activation of the physical body through movement and the mental body through creative thinking. Both will add to the students' well-being and confidence.

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

1. Creative Problem-solving online course, Portugal, Torrance Center. Created by Ivete Azevedo, Joana Cunha, Patricia Pina. Ivete and her team identified a need in the wider community in Portugal after she began to introduce programmes for students that would help elevate their skills development in the creative problem-solving arena. While the students were all ready to go, the teachers did not have the skill set to be able to guide their students through the creative process. Ivete began to develop through grants and community interest an online levelled course that prepares teachers and businesspeople to practice and teach the creative problem-solving skill set. Established 2018.

2. Instituto Nezaldi, Monterrey, Mexico. Created and developed by Adriana Sánchez Alvarez and her family, this school caters to preschool through grade 9 and it was originally based on the constructivist bases of Reggio Emilia in Italy. Over the years, it has expanded to offer constructivist education to all year levels. Classroom studies are project based and collaborative as well as cross-curricular. Holistic development of the body, mind and emotions is embedded into the curriculum. Of all the schools I have visited, this one made a difference beyond the academic and prepared students with strong social-emotional skills. Established 1996.

3. Destination Imagination UK partnership with Derby University School of Teaching, Derby, England. Initiated by Katherine Gilboy, this partnership tackles the growing learning gap between disadvantaged pupils and advantaged pupils by offering a small group learning environment to develop 21st century skills through project-based learning. The goal was to train existing teachers in schools while preparing third year teacher trainees in learner-centric philosophy. By pairing the teachers and trainees together, the school does not need to take on the full program and the trainees practice and add to their professional development. Students work together using their STEAM knowledge while developing strong social-emotional skills. Established 2019.