Going to Scale with New School Designs: Reinventing High School

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Overview

Americans have been trying to redesign the American high school since it was first invented. One of the latest approaches-funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-is to find inventive high school designs that work well in one location and can be replicated in others. The authors of this book followed a design team from Big Picture Learning, recording the challenges it faced and the strategies it employed in pursuit of this goal. Their accessible and entertaining account of Big Picture's work is laced with stories about "scaling up" by other school design teams and in other enterprises beyond high school, and includes commentary throughout by Greg Farrell, founder of Expeditionary Learning Schools Outward Bound and Howard Wollner, former senior vice president of Starbucks. Based on Careful research, the book is both a practical guide to a new dimension of school reform and an engaging read for anyone interested in school change.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807749876
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 8/8/2009
  • Series: Series on School Reform
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

About Big Picture Learning 3

How We Studied Big Picture Going to Scale 8

Challenges of Going to Scale 14

Acknowledgments 15

2 The First Challenges 18

Fidelity Challenge: Balancing Fidelity and Adaptation 19

Teaching Challenge: Teaching and Learning the Design 24

Ownership Challenge: Instilling Shared Ownership of the Design 28

3 Two More Challenges and a Distant Mirror 34

Communication Challenge: Communicating Effectively Across Contexts 34

Feedback Challenge: Using Experience in New Settings to Improve the Design 39

Distant Mirror: Eating Well in New York (and Other Places) 45

4 The Resource Challenge: Six Dimensions and a Distant Mirror 52

Dimension 1 Three Resources Make a Combustible Mix 53

Dimension 2 Resource Needs Interact 55

Dimension 3 Resources Must Be Obtained and Managed 57

Dimension 4 Good Indicators of Effectiveness Are Lacking 60

Dimension 5 Demands Vary by Phase 62

Dimension 6 Meeting the Challenge Strains Culture, Leadership, and Theory of Action 65

Distant Mirror: Ice Cream and School Design 66

5 The Political Challenge 75

The Politics of Difference 77

Caught in the Middle 82

Intermediary Politics 88

6 The Mindset Challenge 94

What We Think About When We Think About High School 95

History of High Schooling 97

Big Picture Accountability Data: Inside the Double Bind 103

What We Measure When We Measure "Proficiency" 113

How to Escape the Double Bind 116

7 The Road Map 120

Hitting the Road: The First Challenges 120

Watch Out for Resource Complications 121

Political Adventures Just Ahead 122

Danger: The Difference That Difference Makes123

References 125

Index 133

About the Authors 147

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