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Welcome to the Barr Foundation Knowledge Center, powered by IssueLab. This collection features key learning and work from our partners to maximize impact in our issue areas and the broader field. Learn more about this collection with "About this collection" and explore the knowledge center below.



On the Road to Sustainable School Change: Stories from the Ground

Jul 1, 2019

It's one thing to paint a big picture vision for school transformation, but it's another thing to translate that vision into day-to-day strategies and actions at the school and classroom level. To understand common barriers and approaches in teacher and leader behavior change, The Learning Agenda reviewed reports and case studies from multiple education initiatives, and drew from learning community conversations about shifting instructional practice. Some key themes emerged, including four common barriers to sustainable school and classroom change:



  • Attitude and Emotional Factors, such as lack of buy-in and trust

  • Process Factors, such as lack of coordination, planning and communications

  • Environmental Factors, such as lack of time and resources, competing demands, policy barriers

  • Skill and Knowledge Gaps, such as lack of experience in the change area


The Learning Agenda then took the most common barriers and questions from the learning community and asked nine Wider Learning Ecosystem community members and redesign experts to respond with their own stories of struggle and success related to their school change efforts. This guide shares those stories to offer concrete examples and strategies that any school can use to strengthen their change effort.