Pub. Date:
Harvard Education Press
Design-Based School Improvement: A Practical Guide for Education Leaders

Design-Based School Improvement: A Practical Guide for Education Leaders

by Rick Mintrop


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Design-Based School Improvement: A Practical Guide for Education Leaders

At the heart of the effort to enact and scale up successful school reforms is the need for more robust links between research and practice. One promising approach is design development, a methodology widely used in other fields and only recently adapted to education, which offers a disciplined process for identifying practical problems, assessing evidence of outcomes, accounting for variability in implementation and results, and establishing a foundation for broader understanding of the problem and proposed solutions.
This exciting new book provides a practical guide for education leaders who are seeking to address issues of equity in their schools and want to pursue this approach. The book provides a step-by-step description of the process, augmented by case studies of four education leaders:

  • Christine, a middle school principal who is concerned with the volume of disciplinary referrals in her school;
  • Michelle, an elementary school principal who wants to address achievement gaps;
  • Eric, an assistant superintendent who wants to improve the quality of principals’ instructional feedback to teachers; and
  • Nora, a high school principal who is concerned about the use of racial and homophobic slurs in the hallways.
The book follows each of these leaders as they formulate and refine interventions to address these problems.
Design-Based School Improvement also includes a series of “excursions into theory” that discuss the research basis for design-based improvement.
The author—a leading thinker about policy implementation and school reform—shows a profound appreciation for the complexity of work in schools and the deep and sustained thinking entailed in undertaking productive change. By bringing theory to life and putting it in the hands of skilled practitioners, this book promises to become an invaluable resource for education leaders seeking to solve problems of equity and social justice in schools.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612509020
Publisher: Harvard Education Press
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 374,900
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Rick Mintrop is the faculty director of the doctoral program in Leadership for Educational Equity at the University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Design Development and Innovative School Improvement 1

Part I Identifying the Problem

1 Selecting Problems of Practice 23

2 Defining and Framing Problems of Practice Elizabeth Zumpe 31

3 Making Intuitive Theories of Action Explicit Elizabeth Zumpe 43

4 Conducting a Needs Assessment Mahua Baral 57

Part II Developing a Theory of Action

5 Consulting the Professional Knowledge Base Mahua Baral 73

6 Becoming Intellectual Leaders in the Co-design Space Mahua Baral 87

7 Understanding the Problem Elizabeth Zumpe 101

8 Understanding the Change Process 115

Part III Preparing to Intervene

9 Designing Interventions 133

10 Awaking Design Development Research-Based 153

11 Collecting Impact and Process Data 165

12 Making Design Development Studies Rigorous 181

13 Integrating Action Research into Design Development 191

Part IV Implementing and Iterating Interventions

14 Implementing Intervenrions John Hall 203

15 Deriving Design Principles John Hall 219

Conclusion 237

Appendix: Getting Started: Key Sources Consulted by the Designers Featured in This Book 241

Notes 245

Acknowledgments 257

About the Author and Contributors 261

Index 265

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