Intro to Theories of Action & Improvement Science

The attached course module (pdf) provides a quick introduction to two key “tools” for improving education.

Too often, designs for new schools emphasize the “new” – the many different features meant to distinguish “new” schools from “old” schools.  Instead, those who seek to design schools and learning experiences should focus on the theories of action and logic that explain how specific learning goals will be achieved.  The attached module provides an introduction to theories of action and the emerging “science” of improvement. These “tools for change” can be used to examine some of the prevailing (and often taken-for-granted) assumptions behind a variety of school improvement initiatives, programs and policies, and they can also be used to interrogate our own assumptions and develop our own designs for learning and and improvement efforts. The primary goal of this module is to enable participants to describe how improvement efforts are supposed to work as well as to identify factors that can help explain why they might or might not work.