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Challenge Friday - Integrating Improvement Science & Justice: Co-developing core practices to guide course development, program improvement, and research in leadership programs.
Friday, February 10, 2023, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
Category: Events

CPED February Challenge Friday

 Integrating Improvement Science & Justice: Co-developing core practices to guide course development, program improvement, and research in leadership programs

Date: Friday, February 10, 2023

Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET

Despite the promise of improvement science as an EdD methodology, it is possible for educators to use the most well-known tools of improvement science—for example, fishbone diagrams that highlight that causal system that contributes to a problem, driver diagrams that propose a theory of improvement, and plan-do-study-act cycles to help carry out iterative tests of change—in a way that is disconnected from our deeper values related to improvement, equity, and justice (Mintrop & Zumpe, 2019; Peurach et al., 2019; Sandoval & Van Es, 2021; Yurkofsky, 2020; Yurkofsky et al., 2020). In response to this concern, there is a growing interest among scholars who lead, teach, and study improvement science to understand a) what kinds of principles or mindsets are most essential to leading improvement science in ways that are transformative, equitable, and just and b) how to help educators develop, spread, and sustain these mindsets and dispositions in school systems that have historically been organized around different values and assumptions (Biag & Sherer, 2021; Lockton et al., 2020).In this Challenge Friday, we support participants in co-developing principles that reflect their unique goals and values as an EdD program and are essential to leading improvement in ways that are equitable and just. We will also support programs in then reflecting on how they are currently advancing these principles—and how they might further center these principles in the years to come.



Max Yurkofsky

Max Yurkofsky obtained his Ed.D. in Educational Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2020. He teaches in the Doctor of Education program and the Master’s in Educational Leadership program, and is committed to preparing school and system leaders to strategically utilize improvement science, organizational theory, evaluation, and design principles to inquire into and address high-leverage problems of practice. His research centers on understanding how school systems can organize for continuous improvement towards more ambitious and equitable visions of learning. Max has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including Educational Researcher, Educational Administration Quarterly, Review of Research in Education, The Harvard Educational Review, Teaching and Teacher Education, Computers & Education, Teachers College Record, Educational Policy, and the Peabody Journal of Education.

Samantha Cohen

Samantha directs the School of Education's doctoral studies, and she is responsible for launching the inaugural, practitioner based program in education leadership and policy. Samantha teaches courses in the doctoral program and in the masters in education policy and leadership.She started her career as a first grade teacher in Atlanta, working with students and families to build partnerships and future pathways. Samantha believes education ought to unlock potential, rather than serve as a gatekeeper.In addition to teaching, Samantha has held various leadership positions. She’s worked as an instructional coach, district administrator, charter staff member, foundation leader, and served in adjunct roles in higher education at Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University School of Education. The unifying elements across her career are teaching, building generational leadership, learning, and deepening her awareness of equity.

Edwin Bonney

Dr. Bonney earned his Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri in 2021. His research centers on how educational leaders and educators disrupt and/or reinforce the marginalization of their minoritized, vulnerable, and racialized students’ languages, cultures, and histories. Dr. Bonney pays particular attention in his research to moments of disruption in and beyond educational spaces where students and community members are centering their own languages, cultures, and histories and are reshaping what is considered “normal” or standard. He has published several articles, book chapters, and policy briefs on decolonizing educational leadership, discourse analysis of educational policies and programs, refugee and immigrant education, school-community partnerships, and school-family engagement. Dr. Bonney teaches courses and advises students in the doctoral education program. He is interested in learning and working alongside educational leaders in tackling problems of practice so that their students can be equitably served.


Contact: [email protected]