Giving Compass' Take:

• Michael B. Horn offers insights into building teacher buy-in that is essential for truly achieving educational reform. 

• How can funders include teachers in the education reform design process to increase buy-in? How does the need for buy-in threaten scalability? 

• Read more about balancing the need for buy-in with the need for innovation

So-called education reformers—myself included—constantly propose new plans, programs, and policies to fix whatever supposedly ails public education.

These ideas often fall flat because teachers aren’t buying what the reformers are selling.

For any change in a school to be successful, the teachers in that school have to buy-in and execute it well.

If we can understand the struggles teachers are facing in their context, their desired outcome, and what causes them to change behavior, then we can design better solutions that teachers will want to pull into their classrooms and schools—and not be forced to adopt. That means we can likely also help far more people be an “innovator” or an “early adopter.”

In recent research, we talked to teachers who had made substantial changes in their classrooms to understand those different contexts, struggles, and desires for progress. The teachers may have adopted blended learning to personalize learning for their students, moved to project-based learning to better engage their students in deeper learning, or added technology to the classroom, for example. But in all cases, they made a significant change to how they were teaching.

Read the full article about teacher buy-in by Michael B. Horn at Christensen Institute.