How will we use improvement science and a networked improvement community to support improvement in student literacy?
In order to do this work we will use the tools of improvement science to conduct Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles (PDSA). PDSA Cycles are repeated cycles of small-scale testing to identify ways to achieve positive results reliably and at scale. PDSA cycles will allow us to test out different evidence-based strategies, or “change ideas” to see what works best to affect change, in what contexts, and for whom (Figure 1).
- Identify a problem of practice related to the AIM and implement an evidence-based strategy or “change idea”.
- Plan (P) for implementation including identifying measures to track progress.
- Do (D) Implement the evidence-based strategy and collect data over the course of several weeks.
- Study (S) data from each cycle including measures of student progress, engagement, and implementation. Discuss findings with peers in teacher teams.
- Act (A) Use reflections on findings to decide whether to Adapt, Adopt, Abandon, or Expand.
What is a Change Idea?
Change Ideas are evidence-based strategies that we will use to make progress towards meeting our AIM. These strategies will target student needs in literacy learning in a way that is teacher-led, student-centered, and adapted to each teacher’s classroom context.
Change Ideas are…
- Aligned to student need
- Target a specific behavior or skill
- Content agnostic
- Teacher selected and collectively agreed upon
Change Ideas are NOT…
- One size fits all
- Products, Tools, or instructional routines
- Curriculum Bound
- Top down
- Re-inventing the wheel
What is expected of me?
AIR coaches will work with teams of 5 – 7 teachers within each participating school to complete at least 2 Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles over the course of each school year. AIR coaches and content experts will provide the guidance and support for teachers to implement and monitor the success of evidence-based strategies in addressing the LBNSI AIM.
Participating Teachers will…
- Implement the selected evidence-based strategy, targeting student needs, and collect data over the course of several weeks during each PDSA trial.
- Teams meet at least twice a month with AIR coaches for 1 hour each time. Each session will focus on the work being done for that specific teacher team. These may or may not focus on parts of the PDSA cycle. Some meetings will be to provide additional supports as teachers implement strategies (change ideas).
- Participate in annual network meetings and bi-annual cross-school convenings facilitated by AIR. These meetings and convenings will provide the opportunity for teachers to collaborate with colleagues at other schools and to learn from others in the network.
What is the American Institutes for Research?
The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance to solve some of the most urgent challenges in the U.S. and around the world. We do this work because when we look to the future, we see opportunities to close gaps that are rooted in injustice. At AIR, we know that equity begins with systems that work for everyone, so we lead with expertise, follow the evidence, and never stop drawing new connections to build a better, more equitable world. AIR's mission is to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world.