Principal Implementation Networks: Leveraging the Power of Collaboration
Williams, Jamaal Lee
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CitationWilliams, Jamaal Lee. 2021. Principal Implementation Networks: Leveraging the Power of Collaboration. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
AbstractAs a leader in the College and Career space, AVID reaches more than 2 million
students nationwide by supporting schools and districts in removing barriers to student
success. With more than 7000 principals striving to integrate the AVID College and
Career Readiness Framework into their school’s systems, it makes sense for them to
collaborate to develop collective knowledge and improve impact.
In July of 2020, I began my residency with AVID Center during a global COVID-
19 pandemic. Despite this challenging context, I aspired to create principals'
implementation networks at new AVID sites. The goal was to determine if a cohort of
new principals with support from veteran AVID principals could collaborate and share
knowledge to accelerate the successful integration of AVID systems at their schools.
I modeled the New Site Principal Network loosely after knowledge networks, and
I relied on the ongoing support of the Professional Learning and Leadership team and
Leadership Steering Committee. Using Design Thinking to empathize with principal
needs, I created a product that provided principals value. It justified the time commitment
and elevated another option for how AVID can support its partners with integrating
AVID systems at their school.
Despite some success, the project also demonstrated how difficult change could
be, especially during times of uncertainty. It also left some unanswered questions about
the viability of this network model. For example, will principals commit to long-term
collaboration? This capstone documents what I learned during the design and early
implementation phase of this project.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37370278