We are committed to supporting districts and schools through a comprehensive model of training and ongoing technical assistance. We recognize that training alone will have a marginal impact on changing practices of individuals; as is documented through the research of Joyce and Showers, (1987). A comprehensive model of technical assistance includes supporting the establishment of organizational capacity as well as supporting staff competency to increase the likelihood that trained practices will be implemented and sustained.
There is solid and converging evidence about what approaches work in education. What has historically been missing is effective implementation of those practices: supporting staff so they know when, where, how and with whom to implement a given practice or intervention. This body of work was summarized in Implementation Research: A Synthesis of the Literature (Fixsen, D. L., Naoom, S. F., Blase, K. A., Friedman, R. M. & Wallace, F., 2005).
Three implementation frameworks are the focus of the technical assistance that we provide to districts and schools to support successful and sustained implementation of research based practices.
- Implementation Stages: Implementation is a process, not a singular event. It begins with exploration and adoption. Each stage has tasks and outcomes associated with them, which leads to the next stage, ending in sustained full implementation.
- Implementation Drivers: An evidence based practice is a new way of functioning in order to improve outcomes for students. These new practices require new skills from individuals, including leaders. Organizationally the district or school must also change to support the new skills that are being developed. The drivers are the implementation practices that support the new way of work.
- Improvement Cycles: Implementation of any new set of practices will result in challenges along the way. Feedback systems will insure that we are building on successes and eliminating barriers along the way.
In addition to open professional development offerings across the course of the school year, the Kalamazoo RESA Instructional Center provides services and support to schools and districts in the region through a continuum of support customized to the individual needs of the district or school.