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6 - School Improvement by Design

Why It’s Needed, How It Works and How It Can Be Improved

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2021

Colleen McLaughlin
University of Cambridge
Alan Ruby
University of Pennsylvania
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This chapter examines six externally developed ‘Instructional Improvement Programmes’ in the United States which have been subjects of a sustained programme of intervention studies. All six programmes sought to change instructional practice in both English Language Arts and mathematics and were adopted by schools both as a result of government incentives and normal ‘market’ processes. All six were externally evaluated by carefully measuring patterns of instructional practice and student achievement in order to assess the extent to which the programmes succeeded in changing teaching and improving student learning. Some programmes changed teaching and improved student learning, some changed teaching but did not improve student learning and some programmes did not change teaching or improve student learning. One proposition drawn from these evaluations is that successful external programmes of instructional improvement have well-specified designs for instruction and provide strong pressures and supports to encourage faithful implementation of these instructional designs in classrooms.

Implementing Educational Reform
Cases and Challenges
, pp. 105 - 126
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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