The Thesis represents seven different stories of pedagogical workers, who have innovation in common, and share a strong vision and passion to work. They are all founders of innovative pedagogical practices, approaches and/or institutions. This research includes qualitative analyses of interviews with active individuals who implemented holistic and long-term changes in the Slovenian educational field. Interviewees shared their professional and personal life paths impeded with a variety of internal and external barriers, setbacks and their (successful) solutions. They expressed their opinions about the importance of active participation and involvement of children in the educational process. Therefore, dissertation contains a set of workshops conducted with 3rd and 4th grade children of primary school Livada based on the findings from the interviews. Based on the workshops and conversations that followed we gathered children’s opinions and ideas regarding their co-creation of the school process.
Elements of professional and personal development, the importance of lifelong learning and awareness of implicit theories are explored through the analysis of examples of good practices. Concrete experiences of facing and overcoming barriers are also a part of the Thesis. Our research focused on the contribution of personal, professional support and other sources of empowerment in the workplace as well as in personal life. Moreover, important factors for effective leadership in organizations and advantage of cooperation and integration are presented. Furthermore, passion for work is highlighted among the implicit factors.
The interviewees shared their different life paths and thus their cases cannot be generalized. Additionally, there is no single way to achieve positive/innovative changes in the educational field. Although, based on the research results it is still possible to highlight some key factors that can contribute to this, for example: sources of empowerment, successful ways of coping and overcoming barriers, establishing a vision, passion, cooperation and lifelong learning.