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Make It Happen!


The Make It Happen! process is long term and embedded in the ongoing life of the school. The process requires more than one school year for one full round of implementation which includes the following steps:
  • Awareness
  • Start-up
  • Curriculum Design
  • Curriculum Implementation
  • Reflection and Expansion

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A consultant from EDC begins the process by holding an Awareness Session for interested teams of teachers, their administrators, and potential school-based facilitators. The consultant describes the features and benefits of an I-Search Unit using videos, simulations, and hands-on activities. Then the contultant explains the role/tasks of the teams, facilitator, and principal in terms of the steps in the long-term process. The session ends with a chance for teachers to debrief:
  1. How can/will this kind of inquiry-based curriculum and instruction meet the developing needs of our students?
  2. Are teachers and administrators willing to commit to this long-term process?
  3. What issues about organization and support do we need to address?
  4. How can/will EDC support our efforts?

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After teams decide to participate, they engage in a series of start-up activities under the direction of their site-based facilitators who use the Make it Happen! manual. The goals are for the team to build strong relationships; to better understand inquiry in general and the I-Search process in particular; to begin discussing possible generative themes for their interdisciplinary units; and to gather materials and resources that include technology applications.

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Curriculum Design

Curriculum design, which usually takes place over five or more consecutive days, is a time for intensive planning of the four phases of the I-Search process. With guidance from facilitators, teachers follow a process with the following steps:

This process is not "lock-step," but allows for a recursive process in which teachers construct and reconstruct their units over the course of a week. By the end of this week, teachers have compiled a written plan with a detailed table of contents showing where to locate their plans.

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Curriculum Implementation

During implementation of their units, teachers refine their plans as needed based on emerging student data. The built-in assessment component pushes teachers to make instructional-level changes. School-based facilitators, using Make It Happen! guidelines, make sure that the teams meet regularly to discuss students, the unit, and their work together as a team.

Reflection and Expansion

When the unit ends, teachers reflect on the impact of the unit on students, themselves, and their team. They find ways to deepen and strengthen the unit for themselves and for others who will follow their lead. One strategy that promotes expansion to other teams is to have the first-round teams hold a Showcase Conference. This teacher-led effort serves as the Awareness Session for the next round of teachers.

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A Project of
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Make It Happen!
Education Development Center, Inc.
55 Chapel Street
Newton, Massachusetts 02458-1060
Phone: 617-969-7100 x 2426
Fax: 617-969-3440

©2000 Education Development Center, Inc.

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