June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.194.1 - 23.194.11
Analyzing K-12 Education as a Complex SystemSchools and school districts are complex, dynamic systems affected by a number of factorsspecific to the environment. Educational researchers have long studied school reform and theissues of what facilitates and hinders success in curricular and other interventions. Experts ineducational policy and public policy also have studied the interaction of policies and practices ofreform agendas within social and organizational contexts. Industrial engineering, which had itsorigins in studying manufacturing systems, is a field where researchers have made greatcontributions towards understanding complex systems including transportation systems, financialsystems, health care, and even recently humanitarian support systems. However educationalreform has so far not been systematically analyzed using a multi-disciplinary systems approachthat includes the tools of industrial engineering.The (****) project at (***Institute of Higher Ed**) is creating an innovative framework, whichis both conceptual and theoretical and rooted within the field of industrial engineering, toexamine barriers and enablers to school change and reform. The framework describes thesystem both in terms of actors and the attributes of those actors and will become the foundationfor identifying a subset of combinations that converge to levels that allow for successful changein the system. The current paper will describe the first step in creating this framework, namelyidentifying the actors within K-12 education and the attributes of these actors that are critical toeducational change. The paper will also present a scale for describing these attributes.
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