Assessing the Effectiveness of Networked Improvement Communities to Advance Improvement Science-Continuous Improvement Through Inquiry-Based Learning
Approximately 75.0% of the students in a district in the Bronx, New York, failed to meet grade level state standards in mathematics The district leadership team had implemented numerous improvement efforts but saw little progress. Grounded in Lave and Wenger’s Social Learning Theory, adapting Wenger and Snyder’s Community of Practice research, and using Bryk et al.’s Improvement Science (IS) approach, researchers posited that training instructional leaders in equity focused IS through a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) would improve leadership and school improvement practices. A mixed-methods, multiple case research design used the IS Leadership Proficiency Survey for Education, interview data, exit tickets, and document review. Seven factors increased participation and learning in two NICs with ten participants: 1) consistent attendance, 2) organizational learning sessions, 3) community norms, 4) inquiry-based learning, 5) guided readings, 6) embedded learning activities, and 7) effective facilitation. The biggest increases in leadership practices were 1) using research to find solutions, 2) persisting through trial-and-error, and 3) redesigning structures and practices to improve student learning. The biggest increases in school improvement practices were 1) staff believing that all students can learn, 2) staff encouraging each other to take initiative, and 3) taking a student-centered approach. Two themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: 1) NICs effectively promote learning and practice of IS and 2) NICs support the development of a data lens. Meaningful change was seen in all four of Lave and Wenger’s essential components for learning: meaning, practice, community, and identity.
Educational evaluation|Educational leadership
Rudolfo, Ainsley Courtney, "Assessing the Effectiveness of Networked Improvement Communities to Advance Improvement Science-Continuous Improvement Through Inquiry-Based Learning" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30243080.