the barbara and patrick roche center for catholic education
May 31, 2013
The Innovation Institute for Catholic Educators, founded in 2011 by the Roche Center for Catholic Education, Boston College and the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), is premised on a multi-year, research based model in which innovative programs for K-12 education are adopted for implementation and researched in nationally selected Catholic schools. This model facilitates the design and delivery of educational innovations for study and adoption and generates support to sustain school cultures rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition of academic excellence in curriculum, leadership, and student outcomes.
The long and rich history between Boston College, Lynch School of Education and the National Catholic Educational Association allowed for this work to be initiated and to thrive. The original idea, based on the need to support innovative work in Catholic education, continues to be the foundation of our work and as such will be expanded as we move forward in more than one direction, with more than one vision for change.
The first initiative of the Innovation Institute, The Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS), hosts a faculty design team, an academic advisory board, and eleven participating Catholic schools. The faculty team has completed phase one and is embarking on phase two as it inaugurates the first summer academy for eleven national leadership teams. The design team is conducting research, supported by doctoral students, and continuous training for leadership teams will be implemented throughout the academic year 2013-2014, with more research, assessment, and follow-up in academic year 2014-2015. This is a complex model that will be replicated with other initiatives in coming years. Boston College and NCEA are enthusiastic about the future of the TWIN network and the applications of this model to new initiatives in new schools.
As the NCEA and BC partnership reviewed the work of the first year and examined proposals for new initiatives, alternative models for supporting academic reframing were proposed and will be adopted. To achieve the implementation of these new approaches, Boston College and NCEA have committed to expand their work and support two separate, but complimentary program models working on behalf of Catholic schools.
The National Catholic Educational Association, confirming their commitment to practioners, will work through the Elementary and Secondary Divisions to advance and provide short-term, intensive opportunities for a national audience of Catholic school leaders. Calling forth practioners who have excelled in the implementation of innovative concepts and practices, NCEA will host Summits for the Future, where participants examine, reflect, and analyze the possibilities of adopting new academic programs or whole school change models. This will allow the practioners to learn from one another and to work independently over time on the adoption and implementation of these new approaches for creating academically rich school cultures of excellence.
Boston College will continue to lead the Innovation Institute, with a commitment to the research-based model. The Roche Center for Catholic Education will host and provide the resources and staff for the Institute and the TWIN-CS initiative with restricted sponsorship from NCEA. In the near future, other initiatives will be introduced by the Roche Center and cohorts of Catholic schools will be invited to participate.
Both NCEA and Boston College are committed to supporting the work of the practioners and leadership teams in Catholic Schools. These teams require multiple models to prepare and affect systemic school change. These separate, but complimentary, approaches adopted by NCEA and Boston College will permit each organization to focus on two very different approaches with shared goals envisioned for Catholic Schools. Our unique institutional resources will allow both organizations to increase and sustain maximum opportunities for Catholic educators to intentionally generate and sustain innovative school cultures, rooted in the distinguished traditions of Catholic Education.