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The three criteria against which innovative practice might be judged in Finland are:

  1. Chosen practices and solutions are learner based.
  2. The transferability, diversity, flexibility and functionality of practices and solutions in both individual and communal use.
  3. Chosen practices enable change in old procedures, provide alternate roles for those who adopt them and support goal-oriented use of various resources.

An innovative participant is cooperative, has good social interaction skills and is able to view the future with an open mind. A wide pedagogical and didactic knowledge is the basis for a strong, work supporting theory-in-use. Typical characteristics of an innovative participant are human-centred attitude towards work, a way of thinking that creates ideas, and a desire to learn. The activities of a participant like this show courage to leave old procedures and try out new ones. An innovative participant masters various teaching and learning methods and is able to integrate technology into a natural part of teaching and students’ work. With the help of these characteristics and skills, an innovative participant can build a communal, inspiring and enabling operational culture. Characteristics that are typical of an operational culture like this are need-drivenness, open mindedness, permissiveness and future-orientedness.