“Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.”

Eliel Saarinen, Finnish architect, b 1873


One of the reasons school initiatives often go wrong is a failure to consider this idea. While schools can be very effective in terms of identifying areas in need of development, as well as research backed solutions, a common implementation design problem is a failure to consider the ‘next larger context’ in which the initiative will operate, in this case, the unique nature and culture of the school itself.

This problem becomes more acute when the initiative being implemented is not mainly about systems and resources but is focused on the most complex and unpredictable contextual ingredients in a school, the people who work there.

A good example is the introduction of instructional coaching programmes. Too often, having read the compelling evidence about its positive impact on teacher development, schools will jump into implementing instructional coaching, without having properly considered the question, how are we going to make this work here with our teachers? The result is often that teachers fail to understand the rationale and workings of the initiative, leading to a lack of buy-in, confusion, and even resentment.

In response to this, we at Educe have developed ‘Instructional Coaching In Context’ (ICIC), a new, unique and comprehensive programme designed to support schools to implement impactful and sustainable instructional coaching programmes that suit their priorities, their needs and their people.

At the heart of our programme is the ICIC Pathway, which is delivered over a period of approximately 12 months, at intervals to suit a school’s needs. Consisting of two consultancy modules, two training modules, and two coaching modules, the ICIC Pathway supports schools to plan, pilot, scale up and sustain instructional coaching programmes in their settings.

To find out more about ICIC, please email duncan.partridge@educemc.com

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