An educational system is something that surrounds and impacts student experience and achievement – but it also goes far beyond the student level. The system includes players at the teacher, school site, district and community levels.
When a Linked Learning approach is implemented correctly, the reach is wide, and the impact is felt across all levels. ConnectED sees the big picture, and works to support change across multiple levels of the system, with online and offline tools to support each part of the work.
ConnectED is committed to making systemic change, and working at every level and stage to make that happen. We believe that:
- Cross-system collaboration is necessary. In order to properly help students achieve college, career and civic readiness, cross-system collaboration, communication and coherence is a necessity.
- All players should have input. All stakeholders in the educational system should be engaged in, and have a voice in, how Linked Learning is implemented.
- Long-term change can’t happen if players are siloed. A systemic approach has shared long-term goals across levels. Whereas programmatic work is focused on short-term solutions that start and end within teams or departments, systemic work is centered around long-term solutions that align work across the organization.
- Communities of Practice help build interdependence. Building a networked community of practice helps different stakeholders shift from working independently and at cross-purposes, to operating as a more coherent team that acknowledges interdependence.
- Change management has a critical role to play. A systemic approach incorporates change management processes that take into account local context and utilizes an inquiry cycle to make sure thoughtful consideration by multiple players informs next steps.
- Support should come in different flavors. There are multiple types of supports and services that may be needed at different times and with different groups in the system in order to support continuous improvement. These could include online support, in-person workshops, leadership consultation, coaching, and technical assistance.
- Small steps lead to big steps. A systemic approach recognizes that developmental steps are needed to lay a firm foundation on which to build at the appropriate pace.
- It’s important to see the big picture. A system can be viewed as an entity in and of itself that can be assessed to determine the level at which it is functioning in order to promote healthy, effective and appropriate operation and engagement.