LogoScience IDEAS Project: 2002-2009

Scope of NSF/IERI Science IDEAS Project

The NSF/IERI multi-year project had a dual focus. The primary focus was to study, analyze, and develop methodological approaches to strengthen the capability of K-12 schools to adopt and then sustain research-validated instructional interventions. Considered as a “scale-up” issue, addressing the lack of sustainability NSF-funded projects by schools was a major concern of this IERI initiative.

As an NSF design standard, projects funded through the IERI scale-up initiative were to meet two requirements: (a) the instructional intervention to be used in the project had to be research-validated and (b) a major project objective was to scale-up (i.e., expand the use of) the intervention across multiple school sites. Then, using the ongoing scale up process as an object of study, projects were to work toward identifying issues related to successful scale-up and how those issues could be addressed in a manner that would allow K-12 schools to adopt, expand the use of, and sustain the use of research-validated instructional interventions.

In the Science IDEAS NSF/IERI project, the Science IDEAS model was implemented in an increasing number of elementary schools in successive years. The resulting the scale-up issues identified and addressed by the project consisted of a conceptual framework which focused on three elements: (a) building implementation capacity as new expertise, (b) establishing the organizational infrastructures necessary to support and manage implementation, and (c) working to establish the systemic “value” added to the school system as a result of the intervention. These issues are detailed in the attached reference list.