Cross-Sector Collaboration to Design Breakthrough School Models: Strategic Community Building for Transcend
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CitationThigpen, Tyler S. 2017. Cross-Sector Collaboration to Design Breakthrough School Models: Strategic Community Building for Transcend. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractTraditional “industrial model” schooling was created for a different era. Student outcomes have flat-lined, and student motivation is disturbingly low. To see both the change and leap in outcomes students deserve, we must engineer a new design of school for the 21st century. One of the most significant barriers to developing and spreading relevant school models is the lack of research and development in education (R&D). Transcend is a nonprofit organization created in 2015 to build an R&D engine and accelerate innovation in the core design of "school." As a doctoral resident with Transcend, my project question was: how might Transcend build the relationships necessary to deliver on its promise of new breakthrough school design? Through illuminating connections between Transcend’s organizational resources, activities, and desired long-term outcomes; identifying cross-sector sources of value that are relevant to Transcend’s mission; framing and communicating Transcend’s value to multiple stakeholder groups strategically and across the education sector; and exchanging value with stakeholders in alignment with Transcend’s current or emerging capabilities, this work led to: (1) moderately strong coherence among internal staff to undertake relevant community-building activities with partners; (2) favorable, but as of yet inconclusive, evidence that current partners find it advantageous to work with Transcend as they collectively pursue breakthrough school design; and (3) strong evidence that Transcend’s network is attracting new partners to advance its mission for breakthrough school design.
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