Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
0
ELAINE SEYMOUR ETHNOGRAPHY & EVALUATION RESEARCH UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT BOULDER  Scaling up Innovation: Why Theories of...
What’s the problem? <ul><li>The momentum for STEM education reform has slowed, even stalled. </li></ul><ul><li>Research-gr...
1. Dissemination Issues  <ul><li>Research on how people learn best,  </li></ul><ul><li>Findings from project evaluations, ...
Some consequences <ul><li>Proposal writers (and reviewers) may be unaware of the successes or limitations of earlier or co...
2. A related issue: research without development <ul><li>The NSF has found it difficult to extend its historic mission to ...
So, what’s needed? <ul><li>Commissioned syntheses of research, evaluation findings, faculty-tested curricula, pedagogies, ...
3. A decline in the perceived value of teaching that limits its significance for reward and tenure  <ul><li>Teaching seen ...
Other consequences:  <ul><li>The professional development of STEM graduate students as future faculty teachers is inadequa...
4. Pervasiveness of a flawed theory of change:  <ul><li>“ If new resources and practices for teaching and learning are sho...
The research evidence: proving is necessary but not sufficient for uptake of good practices <ul><li>Despite considerable e...
Researchers of this phenomenon have noted: <ul><li>Scientists respond differently to the outcomes of experiments when they...
5. Flawed theories of change undermine any program or project’s chances of success <ul><li>“ A theory of change is a predi...
Theories of change matter because they drive our choice of actions, and shape their outcomes <ul><li>They are more often e...
If we are unaware of the theory of change on which we are operating: <ul><li>We cannot discuss or determine whether we are...
This applies equally to our choices of disseminative strategies  <ul><li>One powerful way to improve the chances that our ...
Successful Theories of Change <ul><li>Make explicit statements of the theory, proposed strategies, and rationale for both....
Cite as: Seymour, E., (2010). Scaling up Innovation: Why Theories of Change Matter. Presented at the Workshop on Dissemina...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Scaling up Innovation: Why Theories of Change Matter

1,350

Published on

by Elaine Seymour, University of Colorado at Boulder. Presented at the Workshop on Disseminating CCLI Innovations: Arlington, VA, February 18-19, 2010. Workshop organized by Joe Tront, Flora McMartin and Brandon Muramatsu.

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,350
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
12
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Transcript of "Scaling up Innovation: Why Theories of Change Matter"

  1. 1. ELAINE SEYMOUR ETHNOGRAPHY & EVALUATION RESEARCH UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT BOULDER Scaling up Innovation: Why Theories of Change Matter Cite as: Seymour, E., (2010). Scaling up Innovation: Why Theories of Change Matter. Presented at the Workshop on Disseminating CCLI Innovations: Arlington, VA, February 18-19, 2010. Unless otherwise specified this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License ( creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/)
  2. 2. What’s the problem? <ul><li>The momentum for STEM education reform has slowed, even stalled. </li></ul><ul><li>Research-grounded teaching methods have not yet been adopted by the majority of faculty in STEM departments in universities and colleges. </li></ul><ul><li>What are the reasons for this? </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. Dissemination Issues <ul><li>Research on how people learn best, </li></ul><ul><li>Findings from project evaluations, and </li></ul><ul><li>Proven or promising practices, </li></ul><ul><li>are not accessible in a coherent, comprehensive, searchable, regularly updated guide to what’s available and where it can be found </li></ul><ul><li>Some of what’s out there is very good, and ready for adoption, but is available in a partial and scattered form. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Some consequences <ul><li>Proposal writers (and reviewers) may be unaware of the successes or limitations of earlier or concurrent work, risking repetition and duplication of effort. </li></ul><ul><li>Potential adopters may not find what’s already available. </li></ul><ul><li>Skeptics may doubt the existence of proven practices </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningful progress is dependent on the collective memory of funders’ program designers. </li></ul>
  5. 5. 2. A related issue: research without development <ul><li>The NSF has found it difficult to extend its historic mission to stimulate “discovery” by taking a proactive role in organizing and fostering uptake of what is already known. </li></ul><ul><li>The upshot: </li></ul><ul><li>The STEM education reform effort has lacked funder-initiated coherent, sustained, and nationally-applied strategies to build what has been learned and created. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  6. 6. So, what’s needed? <ul><li>Commissioned syntheses of research, evaluation findings, faculty-tested curricula, pedagogies, materials, learning assessment tools and professional development methods that are updated annually and available on an accessible, searchable, national database (the NDL?). </li></ul><ul><li>A coordinated, sustained, and appropriately-funded effort to stimulate and support the adoption of effective education practices in departments and institutions nationwide. </li></ul>
  7. 7. 3. A decline in the perceived value of teaching that limits its significance for reward and tenure <ul><li>Teaching seen as a far less important part of the faculty role than research. </li></ul><ul><li>This is structurally reinforced because institutions are increasingly dependent on funding raised by research grants. </li></ul><ul><li>Professional rewards are focused on faculty research productivity: faculty feel pressured, lack choice. </li></ul><ul><li>A focus on improving their teaching can risky </li></ul>
  8. 8. Other consequences: <ul><li>The professional development of STEM graduate students as future faculty teachers is inadequate and does not reflect best practices </li></ul><ul><li>STEM faculty do not encourage their STEM majors to choose careers in K-12 mathematics and science teaching   </li></ul><ul><li>A serious, longstanding, and growing shortfall of discipline-qualified mathematics and science teachers in middle and high schools. </li></ul>
  9. 9. 4. Pervasiveness of a flawed theory of change: <ul><li>“ If new resources and practices for teaching and learning are shown to have value for improving learning process and performance, </li></ul><ul><li>then individual faculty, departments, and their institutions are likely to adopt and institutionalize these improvements </li></ul><ul><li>without sustained agency support.” </li></ul><ul><li>(This theory also underwrites the common five-year limit on funding.) </li></ul>
  10. 10. The research evidence: proving is necessary but not sufficient for uptake of good practices <ul><li>Despite considerable efforts to prove the educational value of research-grounded approaches to learning </li></ul><ul><li>(via presentation and publication of research and evaluation findings, workshops and demonstrations), </li></ul><ul><li>peers and departments have been highly resistant to the implications of such evidence for their own practice. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Researchers of this phenomenon have noted: <ul><li>Scientists respond differently to the outcomes of experiments when they are undertaken in education rather then their own discipline. </li></ul><ul><li>The opinion of respected research colleagues about teaching and learning methods counts for more than evidence from educational experiments offered by colleagues. </li></ul><ul><li>(Thus, the support from radicalized seniors is critical in securing change.) </li></ul>
  12. 12. 5. Flawed theories of change undermine any program or project’s chances of success <ul><li>“ A theory of change is a predictive assumption about the relationship between desired changes and the actions that may produce those changes.” (Connolly & Seymour, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>“ If I do x , then, for these reasons, I expect y to occur.” </li></ul><ul><li>It is essentially a wager. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Theories of change matter because they drive our choice of actions, and shape their outcomes <ul><li>They are more often embedded than explicit: Why? </li></ul><ul><li>We are apt to jump from identifying a problem to choosing ways to ameliorate it. </li></ul><ul><li>We often fail to articulate the reasons why we expect our strategies for educational change, diffusion, or institutionalization, to achieve the desired results. </li></ul>
  14. 14. If we are unaware of the theory of change on which we are operating: <ul><li>We cannot discuss or determine whether we are using appropriate strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>If our activities are less successful than we anticipated, it harder to see what went wrong. </li></ul><ul><li>We may blame our strategies, or how we implemented them. </li></ul><ul><li>But we should first consider the predictive assumptions on which our strategies were based: </li></ul>
  15. 15. This applies equally to our choices of disseminative strategies <ul><li>One powerful way to improve the chances that our activities will succeed is to take the time to: </li></ul><ul><li>lay out our our choices of action, </li></ul><ul><li>discuss why we think they are likely to succeed, </li></ul><ul><li>discard whatever strategies we can’t justify. </li></ul><ul><li>Doing this: </li></ul><ul><li>makes us consider evidence, situation realities, and </li></ul><ul><li>alternative causes of the problems we want to address, </li></ul><ul><li>avoid strategies that “just feel right.” </li></ul><ul><li>exposes which of our predictive assumptions don’t hold up. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Successful Theories of Change <ul><li>Make explicit statements of the theory, proposed strategies, and rationale for both. </li></ul><ul><li>Are realistic: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>take into account power sources and relationships: (where are the leverage points?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>take into account forces that promote inertia </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Explore both customary and alternative avenues and methods of communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the form and the odds before placing your bet! </li></ul>
  17. 17. Cite as: Seymour, E., (2010). Scaling up Innovation: Why Theories of Change Matter. Presented at the Workshop on Disseminating CCLI Innovations: Arlington, VA, February 18-19, 2010. Unless otherwise specified this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License ( creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/)
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×