Mutual Adaptation in Action
by Leslie Santee Siskin — 2016
Building on an expanded concept of mutual adaptation, this article explores a distinctive and successful aspect of International Baccalaureate’s effort to scale up, as they moved to expand their programs and support services in Title I schools. Based on a three-year, mixed-methods study, it offers a case where we see not only local adaptations that schools made as they implemented IB (mutual adaptation in situ), but also a second level of adaptation. This reflects what we call mutual adaptation in action—as organizational learning took place on both sides. The designers incorporated what they learned from local implementations into the next iteration of their design, potentially strengthening not only the design, but also their capacity to go to scale. On the design side, adaptations include: (1) adapting to context and conditions, (2) reinforcing weak pillars and redesigning procedures, and (3) taking local adaptations to scale.
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