Encyclopedia of Educational Innovation

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters, Richard Heraud

Education and Social Innovation

  • Palle RasmussenEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2262-4_162-1


The idea of social innovation has become increasingly popular in recent years, and as often happens with popular concepts it risks become overloaded. This happens, for instance, when social innovation is seen as the “soft” and humanistic alternative to versions of innovation dominated by science and technology. There has been a fast growing literature on social innovation, some of it in academic publications but perhaps most of it published by think tanks, semigovernmental agencies, and other organizations. Many different institutional fields for social innovation are discussed in the literature (Moulaert et al. 2013). Education is one of them, but much less frequently treated than fields like housing, intercultural relations, environmental issues, and childcare.

Defining Social Innovation

According to most definitions, the main aspect of social innovation is the development of innovative solutions to catering for social needs. Mulgan et al. (2007) distinguish between...

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  1. Moulaert, F., MacCallum, D., Mehmood, A., & Hamdouch, A. (Eds.). (2013). The international handbook on social innovation. Collective action, social learning and transdisciplinary research. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  2. Mulgan, G., with Tucker, S., Rushanara, A., & Sanders, B. (2007). Social innovation: What it is, why it matters and how it can be accelerated. Oxford: Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, SAID Business School.Google Scholar
  3. Papadopoulos, P. M., Burger, R., & Faria, A. (Eds.). (2016). Innovation and entrepreneurship in education. Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar
  4. Schröder, A., & Kuschmierz, L. (2017). Social innovation: Creating innovative spaces for education and lifelong learning. Technical University of Dortmund, SI-Drive project, Dortmund.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Culture and LearningAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

Section editors and affiliations

  • Palle Rasmussen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AalborgAalborgDenmark