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.
The implementation science approach to improvement in education centers on how to accommodate local school variables and other contextual factors that can impede successful implementation of change ideas, by creating teams that include external facilitators and specialists.
A broad collaboration of stakeholders, from teachers and administrators to researchers and designers, is a key element of design-based implementation research, a school change approach illustrated by an effort to improve genetics instruction from kindergarten to high school.
A networked improvement community in Tennessee that’s applying improvement science to address literacy rates finds that journey mapping helps to see the system more clearly, to build empathy for students affected by the problems, and to focus their improvement work.
Engaging students in learning through ambitious instruction is a chief focus of educational reform and policy in the US and around the world. The University of Michigan and the Carnegie Foundation created MOOCs to support teams of educational leaders in pursuit of this goal.