When schools try to innovate, they often take a traditional top-down approach: devise a strategy, roll it out to teachers and support a high-fidelity implementation. The end result is often one that lacks teacher support or genuine enthusiasm — initiatives putter along and change is sporadic or modest.In education and beyond, innovation is usually the result of iteration rather than central planning. In schools that succeed in implementing real instructional improvements, teachers figure out how to improve teaching and learning by journeying through multiple passes of a cycle of experiment, reflection and adjustment.
Number one on their list is, what I feel, an important and overlooked aspect of education. Research and development is all too often replaced with, “the research says we should be doing this, so let’s implement this across the building or district, without doing any R&D”.