Entrepreneurship, innovation, and reform are a defining part of the fabric of K-12 education in the US and other places, presenting opportunities and risks. For the first two months of the course, we will be visited each week by one or more experts who have led or studied innovative or entrepreneurial projects in the education sector. Perspectives and cases to be discussed include the founding of schools and businesses, start-up ventures, social entrepreneurship and nonprofit organizations, educational law and policy, and innovation within public schools and districts. Students will learn from conversations with experts in the field about how to define problems in education, how different people have approached solutions to these problems, and lessons learned. The professor and students will work together to draw connections between the various case studies and to articulate larger principles. Our study will culminate in a guided project in which students will develop an educational innovation to solve a specific problem that they have learned about and following some of the principles of design and innovation that they have learned.
The last month of the course will be a mini-class on Education and Law, taught by a distinguished visiting professor Dr. Preston Green. The mini-class will cover some of the ways that innovation and entrepreneurship relate to educational law, how regulations are used and misused in the name of educational innovation, and current and emerging legal issues with charter schools and vouchers. Students will complete a separate culminating assessment for this portion of the course.