Theory of Change in Education

Oliver Quinlan, Jun 16, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

So here basically is the basis for instructional design: "Start with what you want them to learn, design an experience that will cause them to learn it, build in some checks that this is happening along the way and has happened by the end. This is one of the core lessons of teacher education, and something all effective teachers master, whilst they may decide to tweak it and experiment later." In this post about change Oliver Quinlan looks how this core idea gets lost as, say, new technology takes centre stage. "I see tweets on a fairly regular basis from educators describing how their school has just bought a set of tablet computers, and only now they are looking for how they can be used for learning outcomes." He proposes a theory of change model to address this. Fair enough, but my experience is that change brings with it new problems, new things you want to learn, and new opportunities. You can't just bring in new technology to solve old problems.

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