The Creating Communities of Innovation (CCI) research project supports educators to engage in context-specific, inquiry-driven innovations that improve learning experiences and outcomes for students in sustainable and scalable ways. A collaboration with the GEMS network of schools based in the United Arab Emirates, the first two years of the project involved working with teachers and administrators in seven schools variously following American, British, Indian, and International Baccalaureate curricula, from Kindergarten up to 12th grade. All schools implemented significant innovations that continue to develop and grow. A second phase of the project involves scaling and adapting the tools and structures developed by CCI to serve many more teachers and schools in collaboration with TELLAL, a GEMS-affiliated organization offering professional development.
 
The CCI model supports educators to (1) develop inquiry skills, (2) use inquiry methods to identify, design, prototype, implement, and assess the impact of school-based “innovations” (resources, practices, or tools to effect pedagogical change), and (3) build a robust and supportive educator learning community both within and across participating schools. The work is advanced via weekly in-school study group meetings, periodic cross-school meetings, and a customized online platform which educators use to communicate and exchange ideas. The CCI team has developed a suite of research-based tools and resources and is currently preparing a handbook meant to be adaptable to a variety of teaching and learning environments. They are also preparing analytical case studies and a paper on the dispositional and cognitive shifts experienced by participating educators.
 

Project Info

Funder: GEMS Education