By incorporating high quality inquiry processes into continuous system level improvement efforts and policy decisions within and among rural schools, districts, and communities, CIRCLE plans to develop a third space (Moje, Ciechanowski, Kramer, Ellis, Carrillo, & Collazo, 2004), where rural educational leadership teams and their university research partners engage to disrupt rural educational inequities, thereby developing an innovative and coordinated rural Professional Development Network for rural educational leaders.
In collaboration with Dr. Kent Seidel and Julie O'Brian, Co-Directors of the Center for Public-Engaged Education Research (C-PEER) at the University of Colorado-Denver, CIRCLE will share a suite of valid, reliable, and useable open-source data tools for use by Center participants to collect data as indicators of learning outcomes. They will be collaboratively designed by the research-practice partners; data collection and analysis, along with training and coaching will be provided by the centers. These data tools will provide alternative accountability indicators for rural schools and districts. Engaging rural educational leaders as partners in this innovative process trains them to use formative assessment to improve student learning outcomes, informing and aligning their instructional and fiscal priorities. Because of the small n size in most rural schools, standardized test data does not accurately provide information that educational leaders find useful to improve learning outcomes for every student. Interested in deeper learning, we will continue to revise the tools, based on double-loop feedback from rural students, teachers, administrators, and community members. We will examine student-centered processes that give meaningful evidence of equitable learning improvement
The Center will research stages of implementation and change leadership, codify NIC resources that are key to organizational learning, and integrate those tools and processes into the online system. Properly organized and resourced, online NICs have the potential to bring geographically disparate education thought leader practitioners and university partners together for experiential and empirical learning, peer mentoring, and technical assistance.
Two levels of research-based insights will result from the Center’s work:
In the process:
We monitor local, regional, and federal policies related to rural education, and engage in research for and the development of policy briefs and white papers that support innovative rural leadership development.
Center for Innovative Rural Collaborative Leadership Education (CIRCLE)
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