Theory of Action

Plan for Impact

A theory of action is always useful for organizing your thoughts and lessons learned into meaningful goals. Now as schools face complex decisions about how to recover from an unprecedented crisis, having a plan for understanding and addressing learning needs and trauma is especially important.

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About the Theory of Action

What is a Theory of Action?

A theory of action is an evidence-based hypothesis about the specific goals you intend to accomplish during the school year. It is what your team believes are the highest-leverage things that will strengthen teaching and learning with consideration for the unique needs and strengths of your students. Through a structured process for school improvement, leaders can analyze data to produce an action plan designed to make real changes in learning and teaching. This can be a particularly useful starting place when leading through a time of uncertainty. 

Who is this for?

Principals, instructional leaders, and teaching teams who are planning for an upcoming school year.

What will I gain from this?

By making a Theory of Action plan, you will:

  • Clarify connections between vision and goals for students, teachers, and leadership
  • Identify opportunities for growth in student learning, teacher practice, and leadership
  • Outline how professional learning will lead to changes in student learning and teacher practice.

Get Started

Use the slides to steer a discussion with your team about developing a Theory of Action. Use the linked Theory of Action template as a reference to guide your own planning.

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