The RSD Framework (https://www.adelaide.edu.au/rsd/framework/) is an easy sell to people who already embrace research and who are interested in “best” pedagogical practices. I see a lot of publications regarding how the RSD was implemented in across disciplines and in a variety of settings. However, I am interested in the process as well as the products. How does one move beyond “early adopters” with new ideas and technologies? I am beginning to reach out to K-12 institutions and try to convince them to try working with the RSD. I wrestled with the “best” way to do this. There is anecdotal evidence about what is working. Here goes:
Strategy 1: Start with someone you know. I know a person at the university whose partner works in a K-12 setting. I have had these folks to my house for dinner so there is a relationship that has been established. This gets a foot in the door. As a first step then, start with people with whom you have a relationship. As a result of this first attempt I found myself talking to the curriculum director. It turns out that there is a major overhaul in the curriculum planned and thus my request for collaborating on RSD-related initiatives was timely. The resulting insights: a) start with people you know and b) find the person in charge of curriculum.
Strategy 2: Start with those people who have a need. Again, I knew a teacher who is starting a new project at her/his school. This involves curriculum reform. The person came to me for help regarding new curriculum and the RSD was a good fit. There is potential here but this time I started at the teacher level and will have to see about working up to the administrative level of the school hierarchy. The resulting insights: a) work with people you know and b) find where the need is and tap into the need.
Strategy 3: I have heard of a number of schools who are implementing new teaching strategies. This comes from word of mouth, the Internet and newspapers. Some people I may have met in passing but there is no relationship established. I collected information, created a database and just sent out an email invitation asking for potential collaborators. We will see where this leads.
More importantly though is the question about how to engage more people in the RSD and move beyond the early adopters and advocates. I got thinking about infectious diseases and the press’ (at least in the U. S.) attention to infection rates, danger to the public, and the like. We want the RSD to be “infectious” (in a non-threatening way), to catch on, so that a broad spectrum of people will use it. Taking this one step further I think about engineering and problem-solving processes. One of the strategies that is used to inspire innovation is the idea of biomimicry (<a href=”https://biomimicry.org/what-is-biomimicry/#.VjrRaCtv9kk” target=”_blank”>https://biomimicry.org/what-is-biomimicry/#.VjrRaCtv9kk</a>).
So here is my challenge to all of you readers: How can we use biomimicry to develop strategies to move the RSD framework from the early adopters and advocates to the “infectious” (in a good way) stage? What are the “best practices” we should use to do this?