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Accelerating How We Learn to Improve

Abstract

"A chasm is growing between our rapidly rising aspirations for our educational systems and what schools can routinely accomplish. Education needs an improvement paradigm--one that recognizes the complexity of the work of education and the wide variability in outcomes that our systems currently produce. This article sketches out such a paradigm. It joins together the discipline of improvement science with the power of structured networked communities to accelerate learning to improve. These networked improvement communities (NICs) combine analytic thinking and systematic methods to develop and test changes that can achieve better outcomes more reliably. NICs are inclusive in drawing together the expertise of practitioners, researchers, designers, technologists, and many others. And they organize their activities in ways akin to a scientific community. They develop practice-based evidence as an essential complement to findings from other forms of educational research. The point is not just to know what can make things better or worse; it is to develop the know- how necessary to actually make things better."

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