Power of Logic Models in Leading School Change

Do changes at your school follow any logical model? Or do things happen because some one or group have the pull or push to make them happen?  Is change intentional, or do you get the sense that “we are going to throw a lot of stuff against a wall and see what sticks”?

Logic models are nothing new, but in my experience they are not a norm in school thinking.  I have been looking into the background and use of logic models and how they might apply in a school setting.  A key resource for what I am sharing is the Kellogg Foundation Logic Model Development Guide (HT Dave Monaco for sharing). So, some simple introduction:

Logic models are a simple organizational learning and management tool that predicts and documents outcomes in relationship to resources. This is huge for schools because we never have enough resources to do all that we want, and we need a way to track effective use of resources.  Did we get bang for our buck?

  • During a planning phase, the logic model clearly explains and illustrates the thought pathway and builds a logical flow for others to follow.
  • During implementation, the model points to places to identify and collect data, and focuses organizational energy on accomplishing the goals.
  • During evaluation and reporting the model tracks progress towards a range of goals.

Here is my graphic of what a simple logic model looks like. Each step is an easy “If…then” statement. If you can develop a logical flow using this model, then the program, project, or ideas has the potential for success.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.51.20 AM

And here is my graphic of how the model can be used as a template for backward design from “where we want to be” to “how do we get there?” Using this template, we start at the right side and work backwards to design and quantify what we need to get to the desired outcome.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.51.36 AM

I am merging the use of this model into the design thinking process as a tool during the prototyping phase.  While sometimes we want to prototype with no constraining conditions, to think as wildly and big as possible, at other times we want to follow lines of imagination that will dovetail with other challenges and with the reality of resource limitations. In essence, the logic model becomes part of the boundary conditions of our design challenge.

What do you think?


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