Issue 4/2022, 114. Volume Page 389–396
Design-Based School Improvement in the German Context
First Experiences of a Pilot Project in the State of Berlin
Problems in the education system are oft en highly complex and unstructured, giving the impression that “everything is connected to everything else”. In addition, many causes for a given problem are indeed located outside the control of school-level actors. The design-based school improvement (DBSI) method addresses this issue. It begins with a diagnosis of shared urgencies or passions within a team or organizational unit. This is followed by the definition of a concrete practical problem. The baseline, goals, or desired states are established. Causal factors for problematic behaviors, beliefs or attitudes are analyzed and strengths and capacities of the organizational unit are made visible. Specific activities are then planned to drive the desired change. Evidence of impact, established through easy-to-use practical metrics, makes success visible and gives directions for next iterations. In this way, collective and individual self-efficacy can be experienced. The process is structured by tools and artifacts that help problem-solvers to keep track of their collective thinking and action in the midst of complexity.
Problem-solving, improvement science, design thinking, collective agency, organizational change, evidence-based iterations, continuous quality improvement, system thinking, adult motivation to learn