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How Educational Innovators Apply Diffusion and Scale-Up Concepts

  • James W. DearingEmail author
  • Chris Dede
  • Deborah Boisvert
  • John Carrese
  • Laurence Clement
  • Elaine Craft
  • Patressa Gardner
  • Jim Hyder
  • Elaine Johnson
  • David McNeel
  • Joshua Phiri
  • Matthias (Matt) Pleil
Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)

Abstract

The challenge of how to diffuse and scale up effective educational interventions has received increasing attention from researchers in recent years, though achievement of this objective has confounded policy makers, practitioners, and the scholarly community at least since the 1970s. This chapter presents three case studies of efforts at US community college STEM centers to apply diffusion and scale-up concepts to their educational innovations to advance student learning. Ours is an analysis of knowledge use. These community college innovators participated in a series of meetings and activities over 3 years to familiarize themselves with concepts and strategies about diffusion and scale-up and were encouraged to apply these concepts in practice. Case study results show that teams of innovators did try to use these concepts, some more than others, and worked to resolve the combined use of concepts to best suit their own objectives. Innovators found some concepts to be overlapping or redundant, some too complex to apply, and some in contradiction. We conclude that teams acted in creative ways to implement diffusion and scale-up concepts. Recommendations for future efforts to spread educational interventions are made.

Keywords

Technology education Community colleges Diffusion of innovations Scale-up 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Dearing
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chris Dede
    • 2
  • Deborah Boisvert
    • 3
  • John Carrese
    • 4
  • Laurence Clement
    • 4
  • Elaine Craft
    • 5
  • Patressa Gardner
    • 5
  • Jim Hyder
    • 6
  • Elaine Johnson
    • 4
  • David McNeel
    • 7
  • Joshua Phiri
    • 5
  • Matthias (Matt) Pleil
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.University of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA
  4. 4.City College of San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  5. 5.Florence-Darlington Technical CollegeFlorenceUSA
  6. 6.University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  7. 7.Nashville State Community CollegeNashvilleUSA

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