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When Social Innovation Meets Education

The evolution of social innovation in schools has helped us start to shift from a model based on the little red school house to a system more in tune with the needs of modern students and the demands of a modern economy.

Nitzan Pelman is the executive director of Citizen Schools New York, an organization that works with schools to create longer learning days than the typical school day to which we’ve grown accustomed. Looking at social innovation in the education space, Pelman says that what’s changed the most is the willingness to adapt. Instead of relying on a model that was developed 150 years ago, now educators and parents are eager to embrace new ideas about how children might learn best.

Offering tips for further social innovation, Pelman says to make sure to challenge the status quo and ask: "Does the way we’ve done things for a long time still make sense?" She also says to make sure to balance efficiency and impact. Think about the trade-offs between larger interventions and the ability to make lots of difference on a smaller order.

This video is part of a series on prominent social innovators, convened by PricewaterhouseCoopers during the 2012 Social Innovation Summit, discussing the evolution of social innovation and offering advice to social entrepreneurs. We’ll be featuring them here on Co.Exist.

Here’s a little preview of everyone who will be featured.