Prerequisites

We recommend that participants take the course with colleagues from their organization (school, district, learning environment).

About this course

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Every great teacher and every great school constantly works towards creating better learning conditions for students. Just as we hope our students become lifelong learners, we as educators should be constantly learning and improving. This education course is for school leaders of all kinds (from teacher-leaders to principals to superintendents) who are launching innovation in schools—starting new efforts to work together to improve teaching and learning.

You and your classmates will complete a cycle of study, experimentation, and reflection to gain confidence and skills to lead instructional improvement efforts. Through experiential activities and assignments, you will begin working with colleagues to envision the next level of work for your team or organization, to launch a new initiative, and to measure your progress along the way. Based on the work of Justin Reich (Teaching Systems Lab, MIT) and Peter Senge (MIT Sloan), this course will focus on visioning and capacity-building, with an emphasis on collaboration and building partnerships with stakeholders at multiple levels.

At the end of the course, you will have started the process of launching an instructional improvement initiative in your school or learning environment, and you will better understand yourself as a leader and change agent. You will have made connections with peers who are also undertaking this important work.

This course has been funded by Microsoft and is part of the Microsoft K-12 Education Leadership initiative developed to provide resources to K-12 school leaders around the world as they address the unique needs of their schools in a changing educational and technology landscape.

Image: Alyssa Napier © MIT

What you'll learn

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Educational leaders—from teacher-leaders to principals to superintendents — will learn about:

  • Bringing people together around ideas they care about
  • Refining a vision and creating coherence
  • Getting started with a new instructional improvement initiative
  • Working together through challenges and successes
  • Measuring progress and adjusting along the way
Unit 0: Welcome
Orientation and Logistics

Unit 1: Launching Innovation in Schools
Introduction to the core principles and defining a problem of practice

Unit 2: Bringing People Together Around Ideas They Care About
Identifying strengths and gaining a better understanding of your context and network

Unit 3: Refining a Vision & Getting to Work
Reflecting on innovative learning models, creating a coherent vision for change, and identifying first concrete action steps

Unit 4: Working Together Through Ups and Downs
Facing the challenges arising from collaboration

Unit 5: Measuring Progress and Adjusting
Exploring the process of measuring progress, determining acceptable and meaningful evidence, and implementing adjustments

Unit 6: Sustaining Innovation in Schools
Presenting and sharing work, final reflections

Meet your instructors

Justin Reich
Assistant Professor, Comparative Media Studies
MIT
Peter Senge
Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Sustainability
MIT Sloan School of Management

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Who can take this course?

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