Learning to improve

Presented by Professor Anthony Bryk

Professor Bryk's lecture will offer a new paradigm for research and development in education that promises to be a powerful driver of improvement for the nation's schools and colleges.

As a field, education has largely failed to learn from experience. Time after time, promising education reforms fall short of their goals and are abandoned as other promising ideas take their place. In this talk, Professor Bryk will argue for a new approach. Rather than "implementing fast and learning slow," educators should adopt a more rigorous approach to improvement that allows the field to "learn fast to implement well."

Using ideas borrowed from improvement science, Professor Bryk will show how a process of disciplined inquiry can be combined with the use of networks to identify, adapt, and successfully scale up promising interventions in education. Organised around six core principles, "networked improvement communities" can bring together researchers and practitioners to accelerate learning in key areas of education. Examples include efforts to address the high rate of failure among students in community college remedial math courses and strategies for improving feedback to novice teachers.

Professor Tony Bryk

Professor Anthony Bryk

Professor Bryk was a leading figure in the Consortium on Chicago School Research. Over twenty years the consortium developed a research based framework for dealing with the complexity of school improvement. Central to this was understanding how to make improvement sustainable and scalable. The work involved identifying essential school supports characteristic of improving schools, as measured by student engagement in learning and achievement. Each of these supports, stimulated by leadership, focus on processes of learning at all levels of the system.

About the Carnegie Foundation and Improvement Science

The Carnegie Foundation has been working to build the capacity of education leaders and practitioners in the use of Improvement Science to address complex educational problems. Improvement Science is a holistic approach which uses diciplined enquiry and analysis to inform 'on-the-ground' change efforts, adopting rigorous protocols for testing improvement ideas in practice. In this way, leaders' and practitioners' 'learning by doing' accumulates through rapid prototyping, into practical field knowledge capable of producing quality outcomes.

This event was organised in association with the University of Technology Sydney and Incept Labs Australia.