Research-Practice Partnerships as a Strategy for Supporting Implementation of the NRC Framework and Next Generation Science Standards William R. Penuel University of Colorado-Boulder Meet the Teachers of Downton Meet the Teachers of Downton • New standards were adopted in science just two years ago. • The district is shifting from teacherassembled to adopted curriculum. • The district’s own evaluations of the science program reported significant shortcomings in curriculum, assessment, implementation monitoring, and professional development. A Framework Workshop • Purpose – To introduce teachers to the new Framework for K-12 Science Education • Context – Funded by the National Science Foundation through a RAPID Grant – Collaborative effort: Michigan State University, University of Colorado Boulder, and SRI International Modeling as a Practice By Grade 12, students should be able to: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems—for example, to draw a picture of an insect with labeled features, to represent what happens to the water in a puddle as it is warmed by the sun, or to represent a simple physical model of a real-world object and use it as the basis of an explanation or to make predictions about how the system will behave in specified circumstances. Teachers’ Ideas About Modeling • Models as Demonstrations “When students experience disequilibration, they are able to change their understanding about big ideas through modeling and questioning by facilitator.” “The model gives students some background knowledge of how waves act, provides common experience.” • Models as Descriptive Drawings “The globe model is used to teach students the relative size, temperature, and composition of Earth layers.” Teachers’ Ideas About Researchers • Too confrontational • Not respectful enough about wisdom of practice and direct knowledge of students • The Framework is too “theoretical” and not grounded enough in problems of practice as experienced by teachers Déjà Vu All Over Again • Teachers, coaches, and principals’ interpretations of the standards shape classroom practice (Spillane, 2006; Spillane, Reiser, & Gomez, 2006). • Even when policymakers align elements of the system to cohere, it’s teachers’ perceptions of coherence that shape implementation (Penuel et al., 2009). • Standards implementation benefits from contentfocused professional development of an extended duration (Garet et al., 2001; Supovitz & Turner, 2000). Alternate Pathways to Promoting Implementation • Dissemination – Workshops, articles in NSTA journals, presentations, Web sites • Purposeful diffusion – Based on an analysis of existing networks of organizations devote to the improvement of practice – Takes advantage of existing capacity • Collaborative Inquiry and Adaptation – Presumes the need for extensive, collective sense-making – Can involve more enduring research-practice partnerships Purposeful Diffusion State District School Purposeful Diffusion State District School Social network diagram from: Daly & Finnigan (2009) Nodes and Ties Organizational Nodes State Departments of Education STEM networks Schools and Colleges of Education District curriculum offices Independent PD providers Textbook and materials providers Individual Nodes State directors District curriculum supervisors Principals Teacher leaders/coaches Teachers Nodes and Ties Organizational Nodes State Departments of Education STEM networks Schools and Colleges of Education District curriculum offices Independent PD providers Textbook and materials providers Individual Nodes State directors District curriculum supervisors Principals Teacher leaders/coaches Teachers Types of Ties Dissemination of information Teaching (e.g., professional development workshops) Ongoing guidance (e.g., coaching) Joint Work Characteristics of Ties Strength/Closeness Differences in Knowledge Why Think About Networks? • Overcome limits of dissemination. Why Think About Networks? • Makes use of existing mechanisms through which knowledge can flow. Why Think About Networks? • Helps establish norms for engagement with the new Framework. Networks and Innovation • Social Cohesion – Frequent communication – Strong emotional connections • Network Range – Ties to different knowledge pools Ray Reagans Bill McEvily Big Idea 1: Social cohesion and network range affects the willingness and motivation of individuals to invest time, energy, and effort in sharing knowledge with others The Strength of Strong Ties • Big Idea 2: When knowledge is complex, strong ties are needed for knowledge transfer and innovation. • Big Idea 3: When gaps between target understandings and current understandings are wide, weak ties to different knowledge pools are less useful. Networks and School Change • Big Idea 4: Every node (organization or person) needs access to an expert. • Big Idea 5: Every node doesn’t need to be connected to every other node. Otherwise, there are too many cooks in the kitchen. At Your Tables • In your state, what organizations are or include people who have expertise in: – the Framework? – Helping people in districts and schools understand new policies and programs? – Both? • In your state, what organizations or nodes are influential and well-connected to districts and schools? • What kinds of ties between these two types of nodes: – Currently exist? – Should be formed, to enable implementation of the framework? – What work is feasible to be done to form new ties between nodes with expertise and nodes with influence? Research-Practice Partnerships A long-term collaboration between district leaders and researchers that is organized to investigate locally-defined problems of practice and to gather information about problems and solutions that can inform decision making. Research-Practice Partnerships • Focus on jointly negotiated, persistent problems of practice • Place-based • Long-term • Researchers develop original analyses • Seek to build capacity for improvement Consortium on Chicago School Research MIST Project • Focused on improving the quality of mathematics instruction at scale in four districts • All districts using the same reform-based curriculum materials (CMP) • Researchers’ role is to capture data on teaching, other aspects of the district’s theory of action DBIR Network • Design-based implementation research: – An approach to research-practice partnerships in which the focus is on design and study of supports for implementation • Organized a loose network of scholars and educational leaders engaged in this work in and outside of school settings Return to Downton • Addressing the learning needs of teachers – Safe, collegial place to learn about how core ideas are blended with practices – Place to share ideas and solicit feedback on curriculum implementation • Addressing the organizational and institutional needs for capacity building – Access to technology – Addressing increasing diversity of students of Downton Return to Downton • Targeted diffusion – Connect early successful adopters of curriculum to key teacher leaders with respect to influence – Organize follow up professional development to maximize peer support • Research-practice partnership approach – Start where the teachers are (Caught in the middle) and jointly identify a problem of practice – Co-design and study solutions together. – Make iterative refinements with them. Learn More… Participate Join the breakout session Readings Penuel, W. R., & Fishman, B. J. (2012). Large-scale intervention research we can use. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(3), 281-304. Penuel, W. R., Fishman, B. J., Cheng, B., & Sabelli, N. (2011). Organizing research and development at the intersection of learning, implementation, and design. Educational Researcher, 40(7), 331-337.