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ERIC Number: ED539602
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
LDC and MDC Theory of Action and the Landscape of Implementation. Brief One
Duffy, Mark; Park, Elizabeth
Research for Action
To support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested in the development and dissemination of two tools aimed at operationalizing classroom instruction based on the standards: (1) the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC)'s Framework; and (2) the Math Design Collaborative (MDC)'s Formative Assessment Lessons. These tools stress teachers' attention to high quality instructional tasks, use of formative assessments embedded in those tasks, and professional learning opportunities that focus on both content knowledge and instruction. Experts from the LDC have developed a Framework that can be customized by English Language Arts (ELA), social studies and science teachers into writing tasks designed to facilitate CCSS-based student literacy and content learning. LDC also developed a module structure that teachers can use to create a plan for teaching students the content and literacy skills necessary to complete the writing task. For example, a social studies teacher might teach a template task that asks students to write an argumentative essay on how the political views of the signers of the Constitution impacted the American political system. The entire process takes approximately two to three weeks of classroom time to complete. Similarly, experts from the Shell Centre have developed a set of Formative Assessment Lessons (Lessons) for secondary mathematics teachers to facilitate CCSS-based student mathematics learning and provide teachers with feedback about student understanding and mastery. Unlike the LDC Framework, the Lessons are not customizable and typically take a few days to complete rather than few weeks. Another key difference between the modules and the Formative Assessment Lessons is that modules can be utilized to teach new content whereas Formative Assessment Lessons are meant for gauging student mastery and/or reinforcing already-taught material. For this reason, Lessons are intended to be taught about three quarters of the way into a unit. Research for Action (RFA) began examining the implementation of this initiative in its pilot year of 2010-2011 (Year One), and has continued this research into the 2011-2012 school year (Year Two), which has seen the expansion of the use of the tools. The results of the authors' research at the end of the second year of the initiative are presented in four Research Briefs, which are related but are also designed to stand alone. The first of four briefs on the LDC/MDC initiatives, Brief One presents key background information that will be referred to throughout the other three briefs. To describe the implementation and the scale-up of the LDC/MDC initiative, this brief includes: (1) the Theory of Action, which provides a comprehensive organizing framework for the presentation of the research results; (2) a national overview of the initiative, highlighting the extent of training on the LDC and MDC tools across the United States; (3) a detailed look at changes to the number of schools and teachers involved across Research for Action's four LDC and four MDC study sites; (4) a description of the research methodology; and (5) a short summary of Briefs 2, 3, and 4. (Contains 10 figures and 4 footnotes.)
Research for Action. 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Tel: 215-823-2500; Fax: 215-823-2510; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Research for Action