Improvement Science in Education and Beyond Series
Improvement Science in Education
A Primer
Published: May 2020
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Published: May 2020
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Published: July 2020

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Published: July 2020
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6" x 9"
Language: English

Improvement Science in Education: A Primer provides a comprehensive overview of improvement science as a framework to guide continuous improvement and reconceptualizes improvement by centering equity and justice as the purpose of improvement. This Primer is designed to introduce improvement science, a methodology with origins in manufacturing, engineering and healthcare, to educational audiences. The book first explores the philosophical and methodological foundations of improvement science, juxtaposing it with traditional forms of research so that clear distinctions can be drawn. Chapters in the latter half of the book introduce the principles of improvement, give guidance and tools for operationalizing the principles in practice, and conclude with questions to ensure you are improving with equity in mind. Constantly reminding readers to think about who is involved and impacted, the Primer makes improvement science accessible to novices and adds critical dimensions for experienced practitioners to consider.

PODCAST: Stacey Caillier at hthunboxed talks to Dr. Brandi Hinnant-Crawford about what Improvement Science looks like when equity and liberation are embedded in the PROCESS, not just the hoped-for result.

To learn more about Improvement Science and see our full list of books in this area, please click through to the Myers Education Press Improvement Science website.

Perfect for courses such as: Educational Research, School Improvement, and Program Evaluation

Table of Contents:

List of Tables and Figures


Introduction—A Primer on Improvement Science

Chapter 1. Research, Science, and Education

Chapter 2. What is Improvement Science? Why do you need it?

What is the Exact Problem I’m Trying to Solve?

Chapter 3. Collaborating to Define Problems: Definitions with Stakeholder Voices

Chapter 4. Discerning Variation: Fluctuation in Processes and Outcomes

What Change Might I Introduce and Why?

Chapter 5. Using a Wide-Angle Lens: Seeing the System Producing Your Outcomes

Chapter 6. Developing Theories to Drive Improvement

Chapter 7. Operationalizing Your Theory with Practical Measurement

Chapter 8. Planning, Doing, Studying, and Acting: Improvement Methodology

Chapter 9. Accelerating Improvements with Networks

Chapter 10. Improvement Science in Education

Epilogue. Why Does a Black Girl Endorse Improvement Science?

Appendix. Glossary

Reviews & Endorsements:

“Though other books and publications exist that present and discuss improvement science (many of which are cited throughout the series), the Improvement Science in Education series exhibits the most comprehensive coverage of improvement science currently available. Crow, Hinnant-Crawford, and Spaulding have curated a collection of books that showcases the breadth and depth of improvement science appealing to a variety of audiences, regardless of backgrounds, expertise, and readiness levels. . . Certainly, improvement science is a challenging undertaking, but this series empowers those ready and willing to try.”

Review by Christopher Benedetti for Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, Vol. 8 No. 3 (2023)

“This is an important book for educators who seek to use scientific means for solving all kinds of problems—particularly problems of educational equity. It addresses problems of practice, from instructional problems to organizational problems, and the nature of problems in general. As described by Hinnant-Crawford, improvement science will serve as a useful framework to undergird our continuous improvement efforts to alleviate inequities in education.”

Gloria Ladson-Billings, PhD, President, National Academy of Education Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences; Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“Hinnant-Crawford has made clear the link between equity, justice, and improvement science. By focusing on the systems-level, improvement science empowers educational leaders to actively change the structures that perpetuate inequities for our children. This book offers a distinct set of tools for practitioners who strive to champion equity and justice as drivers of change.”

Jill Alexa Perry, PhD, Executive Director, Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED); Associate Professor of the Practice, University of Pittsburgh

“This book has arrived at exactly the right time for anyone who aspires to establish and nurture ‘improvement science’ as an essential foundation to better meet the needs of all students.”

Lydia Dobyns, President and CEO of New Tech Network