THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IS FRAGMENTED BY DESIGN
The system of schools in the United States encompasses great diversity, competing demands, and numerous interdependencies. Too often, our work to improve student outcomes doesn’t account for this complexity, and creates even more fragmentation for the very people we need to support.
In our urgency to get things done, we grasp at silver bullets and work in silos as we seek implementation by way of compliance. The result is that well-intended initiatives wind up creating conflict for practitioners and those they serve. Different initiatives may clash with each other, with the contexts in which they are implemented, or with the realities of how people respond to and adapt to change.
How might we move from siloed approaches to ones that intentionally account for the fact that education is a complex social system?
What are the different ways of working and thinking necessary to do this?
But what does it actually mean to take an integrative approach?
What should we be focusing on to effect equitable change in the system?
WE NEED TO THINK AND WORK DIFFERENTLY TO MAKE THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE
Rather than act as though education were not a complex social system, the IDC believes that strategies for promoting greater coherence are more likely to succeed and produce significantly better outcomes for students and families. We cannot change the nature of what we want to improve, but we can change how we approach the work of innovation and improvement. The work of the Integration Design Consortium has helped identify three guiding principles for working in ways that result in more integration of effort than typically occurs in the field:
Cultivating a Shared Sense of Purpose
Co-creating Inclusive Environments
Building Individual and Team Capacity that is Responsive to Change
THE INTEGRATION DESIGN CONSORTIUM
An experiment aimed at improving cohesion, coordination, and collaboration in education.
In one attempt to do things differently, Carnegie Corporation of New York has launched the Integration Design Consortium (IDC). The IDC is a collaborative learning network consisting of five organizations—FSG , Education First, Bellwether Education Partners, 2Revolutions, and Teachers Guild—all of whom received grants from the Corporation to run two-year projects, each one geared at reducing fragmentation in education and accelerating integrated approaches to advancing equity in education. The structure of the network has been designed and managed by the Business Innovation Factory.