By Nica Basuel and Brad Olsen
What is the definition of scaling, what does it mean for education research, and how can we take it to the next level? Those are just some of the questions explored by participants in a November in-person conference organized by the Brookings’ Centre for Universal Education (CUE) as part of the Research on Scaling the Impact of Innovations in Education (ROSIE) project.
The CUE ROSIE team brought 45 global education researchers and practitioners involved in the project to Nairobi, Kenya, to present their scaling progress, collaboratively work through challenges of scaling education innovations for impact, and strategize about working productively with government policy makers.
Some of the remarks from the conference include the following:
“I appreciated the discussions surrounding what ‘scaling’ means because I’ve grappled with conceptualizing the term. In addition, the presentations made by the various teams’ members were enlightening.”
“The ROSIE conference [allowed] for knowledge exchange, learning, and good elements for reflection on where we are now and what’s needed to go to the next level. There are similarities in the experiences of each country and adaptations according to the context.”
“The [topic-specific] discussions with other teams helped me to see that other groups also value our work and helped me to see connections and similarities with other projects.”
ROSIE studies, supports, and connects with 15 KIX teams scaling promising education innovations in 30 lower and middle-income countries.
During the conference, several teams shared ways that the ROSIE partnership positively affects their work on the ground. Teams reported having taken CUE’s past advice to conduct a particular kind of baseline study, collect qualitative data on their innovation’s spillover effects, and map out (or draw) visualization strategies for multilingual stakeholder discussions. And participants reported the value of ROSIE in structuring ongoing opportunities to think differently about their work and reflect on broad questions of scaling and research in education.
This conference also allowed the opportunity to present findings from the two recently released ROSIE research reports: (1) action research report to share scaling insights and recommendations and (2) complementary report on national-level education government decision making on adopting an scaling innovations.