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Do no harm: Risk aversion versus risk management in the context of pedagogic frailty


Innovation in teaching ensures that education remains fit for purpose in a changing world. The model of pedagogic frailty (Kinchin, Alpay, Curtis, Franklin, Rivers & Winstone, 2016) proposes that educators may perceive innovation as risky, which may inhibit innovation, and thus reduce opportunities to update learning experiences. Within psychology, psychological literacy (the skills, knowledge and attributes acquired as outcomes of studying psychology) is becoming increasingly central to the curriculum. Educators are teaching more applied psychology, which requires new pedagogic approaches and are adopting and modelling core professional values espoused as components of psychological literacy, including evidence-based practice, ethics, and professional competence. We argue that psychology educators (and those from other disciplines) may assess the risk of innovation through the lenses of these professional values. The decision to maintain ‘safe’ practices may reflect a risk management approach, rather than frailty. We propose a model whereby frailty may depend on social context and risk in different educational circumstances. The professional values associated with psychological literacy and similar integrative disciplinary constructs, which at first seem to hinder innovation, may promote innovation which is creative and safe, and will facilitate the development of a rigorous evidence base to inform future practice.

Acceptance Date Jun 6, 2017
Publication Date Sep 1, 2017
Journal Knowledge Management & E-Learning : an International Journal
Print ISSN 2073-7904
Pages 261-274
Keywords pedagogic frailty, psychological literacy, risk management, education, innovation
Publisher URL


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