TIES Inclusive Education Roadmap
Step 4: Action Planning Using Implementation Drivers
In Step 4, you will:
- Increase your understanding of the role of supportive leadership in systems change.
- Learn about implementation drivers and how they apply to systems change for inclusive education.
- Use the knowledge of implementation drivers to complete the Inclusive Education Action Plan.
Implementation drivers are structures and activities that are essential to create and sustain systems change. Research has shown that these drivers enable teams working in a wide variety of sectors (education, public health, behavioral health, etc.) to make change more effectively and efficiently, maintain that change over time, and scale up to support change across the entire system (Fixsen et al., 2005). There are two types of implementation drivers: competency drivers and organizational drivers.
Competency drivers focus on building capacity in the system to implement and maintain the chosen system change goal(s). Schools and districts are complex systems that can be slow to change. Leveraging competency drivers helps school personnel feel prepared and confident in implementing new practices and improving and maintaining these practices over time. The IER describes the competency drivers as they specifically relate to creating inclusive systems.
Selection of Staff and Sites- Choosing the people and places for initial implementation (and later, for scaling up) is key to the success of the system's action plan. Early adopters of inclusive education practices and individuals who embrace change as a means to growth make good candidates for initial implementation efforts. When choosing initial sites, look for leaders with a strong belief in inclusive education with high expectations for staff and students. Over time, inclusive education will become a system expectation. However, at the beginning of your journey toward inclusive education, identifying like-minded volunteers who want to participate in initial efforts can lead to early success.
Collaborative Professional Development- Staff are at their best when they feel prepared to implement new practices. Engaging and collaborative professional development (PD) that provides specific and relevant information to all attendees is critical to developing buy-in and skills that support initial and sustained implementation efforts.
Coaching- It is never too early to think about coaching as part of the PD plan. Inclusive education is comprised of a variety of evidence-based practices, and most staff will likely require coaching in some of the methods. In addition, having ongoing access to coaches with expertise in inclusive education provides staff with the support they need to implement new practices with confidence and problem-solve challenges.
Leveraging Competency Drivers to Support Inclusive Education
Application to Inclusive Education
Selecting Staff and Sites
Collaborative Professional Development
Organizational drivers describe “the way we do things” within a system. Organizational drivers include how the system organizes its people and processes, routinely uses data to prioritize and monitor progress toward goals, and identifies and makes changes to people and processes when needed. Leveraging organizational drivers for inclusive education can be best described as “barrier-busting.” Barriers of all kinds will arise during any systems change process, and being able to identify barriers and eliminate or minimize them ensures a system’s forward momentum towards its goals.
Data-based Decision-Making- Measuring the progress and knowing when to adapt or change a strategy keeps initiatives moving forward. The first step is to identify how you will measure each goal in the Inclusive Education Action Plan. Then, gather and collect baseline data. Using preexisting data systems (data already being gathered) is an excellent time-saving strategy. Identify and collect additional types of data only when it is essential to answer specific questions related to implementation. Lastly, schedule regular times for the EILT to review the data and make changes to the Action Plan.
Administrative Structures and Processes- Many barriers to inclusive education are due to the administrative “silos” that separate general education from special education. This is true at the state, district, and school levels. A unified inclusive system views all students, including those with significant cognitive disabilities, as general education students who receive special education services in general education settings. Transportation, staff distribution, master scheduling, grading, and diploma requirements are just a few administrative structures and processes that may need to be addressed when creating a unified inclusive educational system.
Engaging with External Partners- Many external variables can affect implementation efforts positively and negatively. Engaging with a variety of external partners such as parent and community organizations, State Departments of Education, and local universities can support and maintain systems change for inclusive education. School and district leaders do not always have the authority to address all barriers that affect their work. But, they can bring issues to the attention of others who can address the barriers. When states, districts, schools, families, and the community work together in a coordinated fashion, barriers can be eliminated more quickly.
Leveraging Organizational Drivers to support Inclusive Education
Application to Inclusive Education
Data-based Decision Making
Administrative Structures & Processes
Engagement with External Partners
Did all stakeholders actively participate in the action planning process?
Are your SMARTIE goals truly inclusive of students with significant cognitive disabilities?
- Detailed support for creating the Inclusive Education Action Plan based upon the competency and organizational drivers is provided in the more complete explanation of each driver.
- Complete the Action Plan
- In Step 5, you will find more details about implementing the Inclusive Education Action Plan.