National Writing Project

Expanding the Reach of Education Reforms: Scaling Up and Scaling Down

Publication: www.nwp.org
Date: October 15, 2004

Summary: NWP contributed a chapter to Expanding the Reach of Education Reforms, a new book from the RAND Corporation featuring education reform programs that have supported successful scale-up efforts.

 

BookNWP contributed a chapter, The National Writing Project: Scaling Up and Scaling Down (PDF), to Expanding the Reach of Education Reforms, a book from the RAND Corporation featuring education reform programs that have supported successful scale-up efforts. The authors of the chapter are Joseph P. McDonald, Judy Buchanan, and Richard Sterling.

The authors of the essays in this book have helped extend various reforms beyond the environments in which they first proved successful. Here they recount the challenges they faced and the lessons they learned.

Excerpt from 'The National Writing Project: Scaling Up and Scaling Down'

McDonald, Buchanan, and Sterling introduce the interesting notion of "scaling up by scaling down," by which they mean that, to succeed in a new environment, a reform that is spreading geographically must also challenge and, eventually, penetrate habitual practice in new contexts. To achieve this penetration, the National Writing Project (NWP) focuses on professional development and professional networks for writing teachers. NWP promoted both spread and depth of change through its "improvement infrastructure," a system made up of three elements: an annual review process, the development of specialized cross-site networks, and a commitment to both internal, site-based, practitioner-directed research and external, national, and independent research as a means of learning from experience.

Copyright © 2004. Reprinted by permission of the RAND Corporation.
McDonald, Joseph P., Judy Buchanan, and Richard Sterling. 2004. "The National Writing Project: Scaling Up and Scaling Down." Chap. 3 in Expanding the Reach of Education Reforms: Perspectives from Leaders in the Scale-Up of Educational Interventions, by Thomas K. Glennan, Jr., Susan J. Bodilly, Jolene R. Galegher, and Kerri A. Kerr, 81–106. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

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