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CALL and Project I4: Innovate, Inquire, Iterate, and Impact

By Mark Blitz, CALL Project Director

This summer I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the Project I4 Learning Exchange at East Carolina University (ECU). The Project I4 Grant is officially titled: Innovate, Inquire, Iterate, and Impact: Igniting the Power of Network Improvement Communities to Enhance Professional Learning for Educational Leaders. The nearly $10 million grant’s purpose is to develop and support instructional leadership through a variety of traditional and non-traditional means. 

From the Project I4 website:

Cohorts of school leaders will engage in a one year professional learning experiences in-person and on-line with coaching and virtual reality supports. Project I4 uses innovation and inquiry with the intention of iteratively and exponentially impacting equitable math and science results in these ways:

  • utilize evidence-based observation practices in math and science classrooms;
  • revitalizing principal conversations with teachers about improving instructional practices;
  • re-imagining useful professional learning experiences for teachers.

To support these professional learning experiences, project participants will be implementing the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) to collect data on leadership practices that support professional learning for teachers. The CALL Team worked with Project I4 Leaders to develop a version of CALL that is aligned to the goals of the grant. 

More from the Project I4 website:

Using the processes and pedagogies of the Leadership Learning Exchange model to promote access and equity in math and science, these are key features:

  • Improved knowledge, skill and efficacy in observing and conferring about equitable classroom practices
  • Virtual reality use to improve efficacy in observing and conferring about math and science teaching
  • Formative and nationally validated leadership survey that can guide school level change
  • Use of improvement sciences to guide cycles of innovation and inquiry

Project I4 Participants come together each summer at ECU for a Learning Exchange in which they engage in professional learning with each other and their Equity-Centered Network Improvement Communities (EC-NICs). I had the opportunity to present CALL to the participants and convey the following key principles of this work:

  • meaningful professional learning focuses on the work;
  • leadership is not the result of one person; and
  • we should focus on practice-based data for school improvement planning.

I look forward to working with each cohort as the project progresses. And, I am excited to work such great people at ECU as well as the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL). I’ll provide updates throughout the project!