Addressing complex educational problems using positive deviance requires detective work. The task: to discover “outliers” who have succeeded under conditions where most others fail; uncover the strategies they use; and design opportunities to share those strategies.
Category: Thinking about Improvement
September 20, 2017 March 2, 2017
When the Kentucky Department of Education wanted a strategy to significantly increase the number of high school students prepared for college and/or careers, it turned to deliverology, a method used by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to make good on his campaign promises.
February 8, 2017
User-centered design is key to developing meaningful change to improve student achievement, and networked improvement communities help ensure and maintain the focus on human needs.
January 15, 2017
The Fierce Urgency of Now: A Reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Call to Action and Educational Equity
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of the fierce urgency of now as an immediate call to action for social justice. The phrase and meaning behind must be thoroughly and thoughtfully applied to educational equity, writes UCLA education professor Louis Gomez.
January 11, 2017
With the upcoming presidential inauguration and confirmation hearings for the next education secretary, Carnegie Foundation and other scholars are urging the new administration to shift federal education policy to support better school improvement strategies.
January 5, 2017
Failure can be a learning experience, but only under certain conditions. The work must matter, and there has to be a leader who can manage the costs of failure, understands improvement research, and keeps people focused on finding a solution instead of placing blame.
December 21, 2016
There’s ample new evidence of successful interventions to increase high school and college graduation rates to prepare students for today’s jobs. But, in this Memo to the President, Carnegie researchers explain what the federal government has to do to help spread this work.
November 14, 2016
Policy can do a lot to support positive changes, but policy alone isn’t effective in such large, diverse, and complex arenas as education, wrote policy analyst Paul Lingenfelter in comments solicited by the federal Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.
October 31, 2016
What will it take to make effective, lasting, and scalable education improvements? It’s not a silver bullet. Policymakers and practitioners must start working together to design solutions based on research and evidence.
June 9, 2016
In a recent SSIR article, Srik Gopal and Lisbeth B. Schorr make the case that an uncritical application of the "Moneyball" ideal is a flawed approach that overlooks "the fundamental realities of how complex social change happens."
May 2, 2016
At the Carnegie Summit, Hahrie Han shared insights from her research on participation and activism. One of the big questions she addressed is, how can we best mobilize people to work toward change together?
April 21, 2016
In his 2016 Carnegie Summit keynote, Bryan Stevenson reminded us of the power of getting "proximate" to suffering to deepen understanding. This blog post explores how this relates to the first core principle of improvement.
March 31, 2016
When we look for “bright spots,” we tend to see the tools or practices that we believe contribute to the positive results in certain classrooms, schools, or districts. In this way, we identify the what of improvement; but are we overlooking how these changes came to be?
March 17, 2016
Studies on the effects of educational programs often focus on “fidelity of implementation.” But this approach often fails to consider the complexity both of the programs themselves and of the demands they place on the contexts in which they are carried out.
March 17, 2016
In this AEI report, Alan Ginsburg and Carnegie Senior Fellow Mike Smith analyze 27 RCT mathematics curriculum studies contained in the What Works Clearinghouse, and they find serious threats to the usefulness of all 27.
September 25, 2015
Teachers know that motivation matters. It is central to student learning; it helps determine how engaged students are in their work, how hard they work, and how well they persevere in the face of challenges. Though we hear mostly about the “achievement gap” between demographic groups, researchers have also identified…
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