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Improvement Science in Education

University of Michigan via edX

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Overview

With roots in industry and in health care, improvement science is a disciplined approach to educational innovation that supports teachers, leaders, and researchers in collaborating to solve specific problems of practice. Improvement science brings discipline and methods to different logics of innovation by integrating:

  • Problem analysis
  • Use of research
  • Development of solutions
  • Measurement of processes and outcomes
  • Rapid refinement through plan-do-study-act cycles.

For teachers, school leaders, and system leaders, improvement science moves educational innovation out of the realm of “fad” and into the realm of research-based, evidence-driven continuous improvement, with the goal of increasing the effectiveness of educational practice.

That, in turn, will support schools and systems in responding to calls to improve opportunities to learn and student performance and calls to reduce achievement gaps by improving the day-to-day work students, teachers, and leaders.

In this introduction to improvement science, developed in collaboration with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, learners will explore:

  • Problem-specific and user-centered design and analysis
  • Differences in implementation and outcomes as resources for improvement
  • Improving systems to improve practice
  • Driving improvement through measurement, evidence, and disciplined inquiry

This course is part of the Leading Educational Innovation and Improvement MicroMasters Program offered by MichiganX.

Syllabus

Lesson 1: Introduction to Improvement Science
Lesson 2: Understanding the Problem and the System that Produces It
Lesson 3: Focusing Collective Efforts
Lesson 4: Testing and Building Evidence
Lesson 5: Achieving Quality at Scale
Lesson 6: Putting it All Together

Taught by

Donald J. Peurach and Anthony S. Bryk

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