Accumulating Knowledge on Scaling and Sustaining Reform: A Foundation for Future Research

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

The purposes of this project are: (1) to provide a foundation for accumulating knowledge about scaling and sustainability of innovations in education; (2) to identify knowledge about scaling and sustainability of innovations from other fields that can inform researchers’, reformers’ and policy makers’ efforts in education and vise versa; and (3) to establish a forum for cross-discipline and cross-field collaboration and sharing knowledge on scaling and sustainability of innovations.

Research Design: 

This research project addresses these purposes with two strategies. The first includes a comprehensive literature review and conceptual framework development. Using ISI Web of Science, ERIC and EBSCO and 3 orders of search terms, over 13,000 sources on diffusion and sustainability of reform in science education, other areas of education, and other fields including business, marketing, medicine, public health and economics were identified and reviewed for inclusion using 3 criteria. From this process, over 600 sources were included and then systematically read and coded using NVIVO. Reports were generated on each code and reviewed for content interpretation and conceptual framework development. This work resulted in the identification of a set of factors that contribute to and inhibit the implementation and endurance of innovations.

The second strategy has focused on the development and facilitation of a collaborative learning environment ( that provides resources and has created a forum for sharing findings, supporting sharing of methodologies and tools for conducting research in this area, identifying potential partnerships for research collaboration, and contributing to a coherent, shared research agenda.


We have identified over 25 factors that contribute to and inhibit the endurance of innovation in education.

Publications & Presentations: 
Other Products: 

A conceptual framework for discussing, learning about and sustaining innovations in education, and a summary of the literature in health, economics, marketing and business as well as education.

Research Design: 


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