Theory Of NIC Development

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Theory of NIC DevelopmentWednesday, April 4, 2018Eva Mejia, Chief Strategy Officer, Big Picture LearningJennifer Lin Russell, Associate Professor, Learning Sciences and Policy,University of Pittsburgh; Fellow, Networked Improvement Science,Carnegie FoundationDavid Sherer, Networked Improvement Science Fellow,Carnegie FoundationJennifer Zoltners Sherer, Research Associate, Learning Sciences andPolicy, University of Pittsburgh

Session Overview What are the distinguishing features of a networkedimprovement community (NIC), and how do NICs changeover time? In this session, NIC scholars and coaches will shareCarnegie’s current theory of NIC development. Methods and findings will be explored through a casestudy of the Better Math Teaching Network (BMTN), aNIC which aims to improve student engagement inalgebra. You will also practice applying the framework to your ownorganization2

Session Agenda Presentation on NIC Development FrameworkPractice applying the NIC developmentframework to your own organization3


NIC Development Framework

Catalyzing the development of a scientificprofessional learning communityScientific-Professional LearningCommunity NICs are communities grounded byshared goals, norms, theories, andpractices NICs are professional communitiesengaged in disciplinary inquiry NICs coordinate and acceleratelearning through strategicknowledge management

The Better Math Teaching NetworkLeadership Group:8 state, district, andschool leadersacross New EnglandThe Funder: TheNellie MaeEducationFoundationTeacher Group:Aim: Increasestudentengagement inAlgebra I41 high schoolmath teachersacross NewEnglandThe Hub:AmericanInstitutes forResearch

The Pitt Developmental EvaluationNellie MaeThe HubPitt TeamGuidingquestionsNICOutcomesNIC InitiationandDevelopmentDisseminationof LessonsLearned

Our ProcessObservationsof practiceMembersurveyDatacollection& analysisHub selfassessmentInterviewsCase studiesMeetwith HubTweaks toNICdesign

Critical domains of effort foroperating a NIC

The NIC Core Technology

The BMTN Driver Diagram

Structuring network roles and TrustParticipation &Engagement13

Structuring network roles and relationships:Participation and engagementParticipation &Engagement14

Participation and engagementParticipation structures specify members’ roles and clear expectationsfor ongoing engagement in the network. This likely includes planningand executing: (1) network meetings and (2) activity during actionperiods between meetings.Participation &Engagement15

Participation & engagement in BMTNEach teacher engages inPDSA cyclesNetwork meetings—4 per yearAction periods betweenmeetingsSmall group (2-3) virtualmeetings tied to cyclesOptional small (3-4) studygroup meetings(bi-monthly)

Teachers find BMTN activities usefulIn-person network meetings3.65Analyzing data related to PDSAlearning cyclesPlanning for PDSA cyclesPreparing for and engaging in PDSA teamcalls/virtual meetings1Not at all useful3.483.393.304Very useful

Teachers value participationThe majority of teachers strongly agree there is value in participation inthe networkStrongly agreeI value the opportunity to be partof the BMTN91%The BMTN is worth the time ittakesBeing a part of the BMTN feelsspecial to me9%86%I'd recommend the BMTN to acolleagueI feel invested in the success of thenetwork as a wholeAgree14%82%77%73%18%23%27%

Participation challengesChallenges (Survey)71%Time spent doing PDSAs45%Using improvement science44%Finding time to meet with your virtual small group44%Integrating this work with the curriculum at your school29%Using student-centered instruction29%Time required for participation in network meetings22%Time spent traveling to network meetings17%15%Communication and clarity about expectations for your 12%8%Interpersonal challenges in your virtual small group (can be 0%8%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%

Structuring network roles and relationships:Social connections Strong interactions withinlocal improvement teamsSocialConnections Connections emergingacross improvement teams20

Emerging network of connectionsin the BMTNTeacher-initiated interactions:Work time choices during network meetings clusterby small group and joint work structures

Structuring network roles and TrustParticipation &Engagement22

Fostering vital norms and eBased Culture23

Fostering vital norms and identities:Evidence-based culture Members display a growing commitment to thetesting process, grounded in evidence, to guidetheir improvement work. Members feel safe in sharing their data andengaging in critical conversations about what isworking and what is not. Members embraceSharedthe need to document smallNarrativetests of changeso learning can guide the work ofothers Members embracing opportunities to test andbuild on the improvement work of others in thenetworkEvidenceBased Culture24

Developing an evidence-based culture in theBMTNTeachers are enthusiastic about the use of PDSA cycles to improve theirpracticeI can see how small tests of change,such as PDSA cycles, can result in bigimprovements in student engagementin algebraPDSA cycles are useful in informingefforts to improve deep engagementin algebra1Strongly negative3.633.504Strongly positive

Developing an evidence-based culture in theBMTNActive engagement in PDSA cyclesAllteachersengagedin PDSAcyclesandsmallgroupmeetingsChallenges we are seeing with PDSAsDocumentationnot capturing theworkRelying onintuition aboutoutcome of testversus data-drivennext stepsConnected tochallenges withpracticalmeasurement

Fostering vital norms and identities:Evidence-based cultureCollectiveIdentity Members of a mature NIC will hold a “weSharedperspective”, identifying as membersof aNarrativescientific-professional learning communityimproving practice in our field, in additionto a singular focus on their classroom orschool Members begin to see how they cancontribute to the production of practicalknowledge through their work in thenetwork27

NIC design 41 teachers 8 leadersEngaging inindividualimprovement DEA Individualchange ideaMoving tocollectivelearning Identifyinggood routines Knowledgemanagement

NIC Development nnectionsMembershipRelationalTrustParticipation &EngagementEvidence BasedCulture29

Back to end goal scientific-professionallearning communityScientific-Professional LearningCommunity NICs are communities grounded byshared goals, norms, theories, andpractices NICs are professional communitiesengaged in disciplinary inquiry NICs coordinate and acceleratelearning through strategicknowledge management

Applying the framework Think about your own organization. How does it approach problem solving andcollective learning? In what ways does it look like a scientificprofessional learning community? Purpose of this activity:– Help you deepen your understanding of the frameworkby applying it.– Generate some ideas about how your organizationmight develop the characteristics of a scientificprofessional learning community.

Activity Read the handout, rate your own organization on thethree components of a scientific professional learningcommunity, and reflect on the provided questions (10minutes). Discuss your responses with a table partner or a group ofthree. (15 minutes) Full group share out (10 minutes)– What are your organization’s areas of strength?Weakness?– What action steps might you take and why?– What other questions do you have about the NICdevelopment framework?

Thank You!For more information on the frameworkJennifer Russelljrussel@pitt.edu412-624-7489

improvement community (NIC), and how do NICs change over time? In this session, NIC scholars and coaches will share Carnegie’s current theory of NIC development. Methods and findings will be explored through a case study of the Better Math Teaching Network (BMTN), a

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