Theory into Action
Examine: The first part of moving from theory to action is to conduct an audit, or an exploration phase, of your current and past practices and to develop a vision of what you would like to see happening in the future. Begin by assessing the current state of practice(s), identify if there is a need to address, identify the potential barriers to that need/challenge, and define a reasonable goal.
Organization: Also known as the installation phase, once your exploration is complete it is time to organize your materials and make an initial plan for addressing the need/challenge. Sometimes called "resource mapping," this is this stage where you evaluate all of the available resources you have that can help you to work toward your vision. Resources include personnel, programs, time and space, etc. Organize these materials into a matrix for ease of identifying resources you have, resources you need to acquire, resources you no longer want to use, and even examples of systems other schools are using with success. Keeping your vision in mind and students at the forefront, revisit your goal and formulate an action plan/timeline for moving toward that goal.
There are a variety of resources available to assist teams with navigating the implementation phases. Here are a few to get you started. If you need further assistance you may want to check out the technical assistance page. There you will find additional resources, or you can reach out for additional consultation and coaching.
Customization: Also known as the initial implementation phase, during customization, begin to implement the new or revised practice with fidelity. Establish a plan for monitoring this initial implementation including collecting data and evidence, observation, survey, and a regular meeting schedule to check and monitor the practice. This phase continues until the practice is being implemented successfully, and has been refined to ensure that the practice is moving toward the desired vision.
Maintenance: Also known as the full implementation phase, maintenance is the stage where the practice has achieved a place in the school culture and is established enough so that if someone from the team were to leave the team the system would remain in tact. The practice will be monitored regularly and consistently for fidelity. If at any point fidelity of the practice falls, or the practice is no longer working, the practice stops, and teams return to a previous phase to reassess and readjust as needed.
1. How does my school currently identify a school level team?
2. How effective do you feel your current school level team is?
3. Does your current school level team represent the population of your school?
4. Are there members on your team that come from a variety of skills and expertise?
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