Systems level change in education

by | Sunday, August 02, 2020

How do you design for change in complex systems—like education?

Implementing large-scale changes within educational systems can be a challenging task. Doing so requires many actors, working at different organizational levels (and perhaps across organizations), to not only be unified in their overall goals and coordinated in their actions, but also have the freedom to respond to changing local circumstances and unanticipated issues. In this paper we argue that these efforts can be fruitfully seen as being an act of design that take place within a complex social system. We contextualize our argument in the five spaces for design in education framework and demonstrate how the differing perspectives of educational professionals can either work at cross-purposes or be aligned to a larger goal. A sensitivity to these five spaces and an understanding of their interconnected nature can provide us with tools and approaches to bring about significant, sustainable change in education.

Citation, abstract and a link to article below.

Original points of view image from the internet: variations by Punya Mishra

Weiner, S., Warr, M., & Mishra, P. (2020). Fostering System-Level Perspective Taking when Designing for Change in Educational Systems. TechTrends. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-020-00529-w

Abstract: A core element of systems thinking is perspective taking. Perspectives help people distinguish between salient and irrelevant information, take particular types of actions, and make sense of the world. In this article, we consider what systems thinking and perspective taking means for designers in education. First, we present a framework, the five spaces for design in education, to illustrate design work in education. The framework presents five spaces for design: artifacts, processes, experiences, systems, and culture. We claim that most—if not all—educators participate in design work; however, the design spaces they work in vary. Consequently, educational designers often fail to consider the perspectives of those working in different spaces, resulting in failed reform efforts. We illustrate this concept through the technology integration attempts of the Los Angeles Unified School District. We argue more effective design in education occurs when designers both recognize their own design perspective and are aware of other perspectives.

Here are some related posts and articles

A few randomly selected blog posts…

Mishra & Koehler, 2006

The Mishra & Koehler (2006) article is the first and somewhat definitive presentation of the TPCK framework. The complete reference and abstract are given below, as is a link to the original article [pdf format]. Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006)....

Of raindrops and dying flowers

Of raindrops and dying flowers

The rainfall in June –the poems I’ve pasted to wallspeel off, but leave traces.~ Basho All photos taken with my iPhone8©punyamishra

The School Design Game v 1.0

The School Design Game v 1.0

The journey  of design is complicated, filled with conundrums —some expected, others not so much. There are many possible strategies  to address them as we iterate our way to the finish line. The School Design Game seeks to explore some of these complexities...

What do they know? Video projects on understanding

In my summer classes I have the participants complete a video assignment on understanding. This year as always my students worked in groups over a week-and-a-half to select their topics, develop interview protocols, video tape people as they answered their questions,...

Ask-ing Cuil questions of Google

How do we evaluate a search engine? Chris Wilson attempts to answer this question (with help from the crowd) in his article on Slate "How To Talk to a Search Engine: Three queries to help decide if Google or Cuil or Ask is right for you?" The three search items he...

Demotivational posters

I have been a big fan of Despair.com and its quirky, dark humor. I particularly love the demotivational posters, with their beautiful inspiring photographs coupled with some deeply cynical or depressing message. Today students in my MAET summer program completed a...

Bye bye textbooks, buy buy laptops

Reuters story titled Technology reshapes America's classrooms. Couple of quotes worth noting: "Why would we ever buy a book when we can buy a computer? Textbooks are often obsolete before they are even printed," said Debra Socia, principal of the school in Dorchester,...

Putting technology first

Don Norman has a great essay titled Technology First, Needs Last that I strongly recommend. We have been making a similar argument in some of our more recent pieces, see here and here... What do you think of Norman's ideas? Read it first and come back here to discuss...

China, Australia, Nepal & Australia: A zoom tour

China, Australia, Nepal & Australia: A zoom tour

Over the past couple of months I have been asked to give presentations at a variety of different conferences or organizations spread across the world. They are archived below. I was invited to give a talk as part of the Dean's Lecture Series at the School of...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *