How do you as an individual, your school as an organization, and the group of all schools and educators as a system increase the odds of successful innovation?
Consider 100 pollywogs, each in 100 different small ponds; that is 10,000 pollywogs. Will they evolve? Probably, given enough time and a sustained ecosystem of resource supply, distribution, and waste.
Consider the same 10,000 pollywogs all in the same pond. There is a much greater chance of some significant evolution amongst this population. Why? They all have access to mutations amongst a much more diverse population.
While I have just ignored and stepped on vast troves of biology and genetics, I think the point is still valid for educators and schools. I have been trawling the world of educational innovation for about five years and have gathered quite a few bits of data on many, many schools, individuals, organizations, companies, institutes, and foundations that are trying to evolve the system of education. For the most part they are working on discrete pieces of the system, each in a pond of interest, passion, or potential profit. There is very little true interaction at the level that one might see in a genetically interactive population.
There are hints that the ponds may start to coalesce soon; I really want to help make that happen. As in any natural system, as boundaries to interaction and cross-pollination fall, evolution explodes, so we may (finally) be in for exciting times!