2019 Summit Pre-Conference Courses

Nine hands-on, pre-conference courses will be offered at the 2019 Carnegie Summit on April 16.

Summit pre-conferences


PC1. Improvement Science Basics

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching works to build the capacity of education leaders and practitioners to apply improvement science in their schools, organizations, and networks. Improvement science is an approach to making change that combines analytic discipline and practical on-the-ground tools to accelerate progress on pressing educational problems. The methods within improvement science support change agents in deeply understanding problems and their causes, testing ideas for change, and spreading promising practices to new contexts. Through an improvement science approach, the “learning by doing” that occurs in individual clinical practice can cumulate in robust, practical field knowledge capable of reliably producing quality outcomes across diverse contexts.

This pre-conference course is ideal for participants seeking a comprehensive overview of the basic tenets and tools of improvement science. It will provide an introduction to the foundational concepts in improvement science, hands-on activities with key improvement tools, and a case study of how this approach has been applied in education.

 Objectives

After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify key concepts and principles that underpin the improvement science approach to change
  • Understand how aim statements and theories of practice improvement discipline improvement efforts
  • Explore how measurement is used in an improvement context
  • Describe how change ideas are developed, iteratively tested, and spread to achieve quality results, reliably at scale
Presenters

Melissa Chabran, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Other Carnegie Staff

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PC2. Organizing to Work in a Networked Improvement Community

Educators, researchers, and policymakers have struggled to find ways of efficiently and effectively applying evidence-based knowledge to the continuous process of solving practical, on-the-ground problems. Networked improvement communities (NICs) provide the necessary organizational structure for mobilizing the diverse expertise needed to solve the most pressing and persistent problems that confront our nation’s colleges and schools.

This pre-conference course delves into the fundamentals of initiating a networked improvement community. Participants will learn how to engage in a disciplined approach to identifying a specific problem and analyzing the system that produces it, as well as the role and functions of a NIC hub in establishing and leading a network. Participants will also receive practical advice about how to establish a culture that supports collective learning.

This course is ideal for teams of 2-7 people who want to work on a shared problem, but who are not yet deeply engaged in working as a NIC. Participants will get the most out of this pre-conference session if they have a basic understanding of improvement science when they enroll, or are committed to gaining that understanding by completing short assignments in advance of the session.

Objectives

After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how a networked improvement community approach differs from other forms of collaboration
  • Understand how to study and specify a problem such that it can be addressed using improvement science methods
  • Understand the functions and possible structures for a network hub
  • Identify key concepts and tools that will help the hub structure and support network learning
  • Determine if a networked improvement community is a viable structure for accomplishing their organizational aims
Presenters

Emma Parkerson, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Other Carnegie Staff

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PC3. Using Data for Quality Improvement

Schools have made significant headway in collecting data on student learning in the interest of driving change. But how do we embed data collection and use in ongoing processes to continuously improve practices and performance? The nature of the data and the processes in which they are used needs to be shaped to support continuous quality improvement.

This pre-conference course delves into how to develop and use measurement and data. Participants will learn to link their improvement ideas to concrete measures in order to understand if and how their system is improving. They will also learn about using data to examine variation and understand systems, how to create a system of measures to support improvement plans, and the resources and routines that underpin effective data use.

This Pre-Conference Course is ideal for:
  • Educators and other district staff employing improvement science methods in their local contexts to address persistent problems of practice
  • Teachers, faculty, improvement partners, and researchers involved in networked improvement communities
Objectives:

After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how to use measures to see systems and more deeply understand problems
  • Consider what types of measures constitute a system of measures to support practice improvement
  • Understand how to work with partners and within NICs to design, develop, refine, and implement common measures focused on a specific theory of improvement
Presenters

Rachel Beattie, Associate, Director of Student Agency Improvement Community and Productive Persistence, Carnegie Foundation
Ke Wu, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Other Carnegie Staff

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PC4. Evidence for Improvement: Analytic Tools and Techniques to Support Improvement Networks

Improvement efforts often struggle to develop a culture of learning and strategies to support such a culture across an organization or network.  In particular, improvement efforts commonly face challenges related to:

  • developing the analytic capacities required to implement a theory of improvement;
  • generating and sustaining social learning within and across an organization or network, and;
  • navigating the complexities of the environments in which they are working to scale improvement.

In order to aid improvement networks in overcoming these challenges, this course introduces a set of approaches, techniques, and tools for tackling these domains.  Together these practices constitute what the Carnegie Foundation refers to as Evidence For Improvement: an integrated analytic approach to supporting improvement networks.

The course will center on illustrating the framework for Evidence For Improvement by exploring the approaches, techniques, and tools used.  An additional key focus of the course will be on developing the capacity for social learning within organizations and networks. The course will include the presentation of material related to the three levels noted above, but will primarily involve three hands-on or simulation activities focused on challenges faced by real networks at each of the levels.  This course assumes basic prior knowledge of improvement science.

This pre-conference course is ideal for:
  1. Leaders of improvement networks and their analytic partners (either internal analysts or external partners), with a preference that they come as pairs or small teams
  2. Philanthropic foundation staff interested in learning more about the analytic needs of improvement networks
  3. Evaluators who would like to learn more about how their skills, knowledge, and expertise could be best utilized by an improvement network
Objectives:

After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the three-level model of Evidence for Improvement
  • Identify key approaches, techniques, and tools used by analytic partners at each of the three levels and have an introductory understanding of how they are used
  • Describe how and why analyzing each of the three levels is important to a well-functioning improvement effort
  • Articulate the role of analytic partners and how it differs from the role of traditional evaluators
PresenterS

Jon Norman, Associate, Improvement Analytics & Measurement, Carnegie Foundation
Dave Sherer, Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

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PC5. Leading for Equity in Complex Adaptive Systems

Whether it’s implementing a district-wide continuous improvement initiative for greater equity, addressing disproportionality in discipline, or redesigning entire schools, many education leaders approach their system’s challenges and change initiatives as complicated problems to solve. But equity challenges are more than complicated – they are complex – so emergent solutions must be found through dynamic interactions of diverse people and networks working together. Leaders in complex adaptive systems must be skilled at balancing both technical and relational approaches.

This session will introduce the National Equity Project’s Leading for Equity (LFE) framework and SEA Methods (See, Engage and Act) as way to expand equity consciousness toward more dynamic approaches to problem solving and decision-making. Participants will explore process and planning tools that can match the level of complexity in their situation and context. Consideration will be given on how to link day-to-day activities with a long-term vision of equity, even in a changing and unpredictable world.

Objectives

After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Develop a greater understanding of the inherent tensions, contradictions and uncertainty in leading for equity in complex systems
  • Use a complex systems and systemic oppression lens to assess their system’s challenges and opportunities
  • Apply a framework and approach for problem-identification, decision-making, and taking action in their system
  • Reflect on their personal leadership, given individual identity, role, and responsibilities — and generate ideas about possible next moves regarding an equity challenge they are facing
Presenters

Victor Cary, Director of Research, Development and Learning, National Equity Project
Tom Malarkey, Co-Director of Research, Development and Learning Group, National Equity Project

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PC6. Leadership for System Transformation: Putting Research into Practice

Wondering what improvement science looks like in a school district that has achieved results? This pre-conference course will help connect the dots. Leaders, teachers, and coaches from the School District of Menomonee Falls (SDMF) and Studer Education℠ will guide participants through the district’s six-year journey of developing leaders and applying improvement science to accelerate system, school, and student learning. Participants will first learn about the core principles underlying systemic improvement in SDMF and be introduced to the organization’s transformational approach to methodical, continuous improvement. Building upon this broad, system-level view, participants will learn how to grow and develop leaders who can effectively lead change, empower teachers to improve student and school results through cycles of improvement, and develop students who can analyze their own challenges and make smart decisions to advocate for their own learning needs. Along the way, presenters will offer specific examples from SDMF of connecting to hearts and minds to drive results and stimulate ongoing organizational learning.

Objectives

After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Engage an elected board to understand, appreciate, and drive improvement through resource allocation and policy adoption
  • Train and coach a collaborative leadership team, through the continuous change of education institutions, to lead as a team, with both their hearts and minds
  • Build aligned scorecards of key metrics and high-leverage actions that drive improvement at the district, school, and classroom level
  • Report scorecard progress using a simple, 45-day cycle that supports improvement through agile adjustment to achieve results
  • Coach teachers to plan, do, study, and act with students, so that each student knows and advocates for their own  progress
  • Ensure that improvement is everyone’s job, from superintendent to food service employee, from student to board member
Presenters

Corey Golla,Superintendent of Schools, School District of Menomonee Falls
Patricia Greco, Superintendent Emeritus, School District of Menomonee Falls
Melissa Matarazzo, Lead Coach, Studer Education
Suzy Thomas, Director of Quality and Analytics, Menomonee Falls High School

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PC7. Improvement Reviews: Advancing Learning, Ensuring Success

Improvement reviews can be a powerful tool in focusing the attention of networked improvement and organizational leaders on their improvement initiatives. Maintaining a focus on results, identifying problems early and providing expert feedback and direction is a critical component in ensuring the success of all improvement efforts.

In this pre-conference course, participants will receive a protocol for conducting an improvement review and learn how to use improvement reviews to support the success of their own improvement efforts or those of improvement teams they are leading and coaching.  They will have the opportunity to participate in and/or observe multiple improvement reviews live, with coaching from external improvement advisors. Participants will debrief the reviews and discuss the utility of the improvement review in advancing learning and energizing improvement efforts.  This session is primarily intended for individuals who are actively engaged in networked improvement communities or other improvement efforts.

Objectives

After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how improvement reviews are used in supporting improvement work
  • Understand structure and roles associated with an improvement review
  • Design improvement reviews to support work of improvement teams
Presenters

Alicia Grunow, Co-Founder, Improvement Collective and Senior Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Sandra Park, Co-Founder, Improvement Collective and Senior Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

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PC8. Collaboration and Group Decision-Making

A leadership dilemma: on one hand, leaders want their groups to fully understand and endorse a decision. On the other hand, a thoughtful, inclusive, participatory process takes more time; and requires more patience, more tolerance of conflict, and more commitment to keep showing up. Expedient decisions may not be collaborative, but they at least have the appearance of getting things done. In a few words: should leaders pursue a superficial quick fix, or deeper but slower buy-in?

Adapted from The Facilitator’s Guide To Participatory Decision-Making — a text that has influenced two generations of leaders interested in putting inclusive, participatory values into practice in their organizations – this course provides a fast-paced overview of key insights on group dynamics, consensus building, and the leader’s role in participatory meetings. Combining lecture, group discussion, and small-group interactions, the activities will allow participants to practice applying these concepts to their own real-life situations. The afternoon builds on the morning’s conceptual framework, and focuses on experiential skill-building. Everyone will receive coaching and peer feedback, as Nelli demonstrates how to install customized decision rules with teams.

Objectives

After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand key insights of group dynamics and consensus building
  • Explore the leader’s role in participatory meetings
  • Apply the dynamics of group decision-making to real-life situations
  • Put participatory values into practice within organizations
  • Establish clear decision rules with teams and facilitate participatory meetings
Presenter

Nelli Noakes, Professional Organization Effectiveness Consultant, Community At Work

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PC9. Introduction to Design Thinking: Design for Belonging

In this day-long workshop participants will learn about design thinking through a rapid-cycle, immersive design challenge. As part of the challenge participants will work through parts of the equity-conscious design thinking process: notice, empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and reflect. The session will include reflection on the kind of learning mindsets at play in equity-conscious design process and how we can design for belonging. Participants will plan a design action to take when they return to their site after the conference.

Objectives

After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Immerse in design thinking process
  • Understand mindsets of design and how they relate to improvement science
  • Explore concrete application of design thinking to design for belonging
Presenters

Morgan Alconcher, Principal, ASCEND K-8
Susie Wise, Adjunct Professor and former Director of the K12 Lab Network, Stanford d.school

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Date

April 16–18, 2019

Location

San Francisco Marriott Marquis

Registration