Getting Started by Design
Upon the conclusion of the 2019 legislative session, NV Succeeds sat down with partners across the state to reimagine its approach to policy development and implementation. Through a design thinking process, the challenge of “getting certain policies passed” was reframed to “there is not a user-centered policy hub that centers educators as researching practitioners, whose learning informs policy development.”
We identified a missing link: educators - in the field - as producers of research - informing policy and practice.
Another common point of reflection was the lack of external evidence of excellence guiding our approach to policy, practice, and systems coherence. A stakeholder/partner conversation yielded the statement, “The world is interested in Las Vegas and Nevada but Nevada doesn’t seem to be interested in the rest of the world.” These reflections initiated the first drafts of the proposal for a fellowship that sought to bring Nevada educators in contact with high-performing systems research while developing the habits and mindsets of action researchers through design thinking; through intentional community engagement, our fellows would create the container for user-centered education policy development.
How might we seize on this moment of uncertainty to embrace new equitable, human-centered frameworks for education - ensuring that learning, teaching, and leading is fostered with intentional human talent development yielding deeper learning outcomes for students?
With this in mind, NV Succeeds partnered with The Las Vegas Sands to bring our fellows to Singapore for the first iteration of the InspirED Global Fellowship.
As one of the world’s highest performing education systems according to the OECD’s PISA exams, Singapore has recently articulated a focus on 21st century learning student outcomes, aligning policies and talent development to that goal. With a well-known, robust career development ladder, we wondered what deeper exploration about the Singapore system could inspire for us as we reimagine next steps for our Nevada system. With design thinking as our framework for inquiry and action, our interest is to examine the elements of a successful system and have that learning inform the design and implementation of our own. What might learning beyond the Nevada and US borders inspire in our approach? That work begins with our fellows this September.
Integral to our thought partnership has been Dr. Mary Jean Gallagher. An advisor to NV Succeeds in the past, her experience leading the successful reform efforts in Ontario, Canada, making it another of the highest performing education systems in the world, has made her a sought-after global consultant. Her book, The Devil Is In The Details (March 2020), in collaboration with education systems expert Michael Fullan, speaks to the challenges of developing systems coherence with the purpose of equity, excellence, and well-being for all students. With Dr. Gallagher’s support and encouragement, the iterations of our InspirED Global Fellowship have been grounded in what we know works: developing educators as both consumers and producers of research, hosting the space for authentic inquiry, reflection, and collaboration among professionals, and intentionally developing connections across layers of our system to share what works.
It is an honor and exciting opportunity for our fellows to engage with Dr. Gallagher this week. As we learn about her educational leadership journey and discuss her book in the context of our work, she’ll be significant in helping us envision how the learning we’re doing can move the needle for deeper learning and human talent development across the state.
How might we move from insight to impact?
We invite you to stay connected on our journey.