Deepening Impact: a Tang-Klingenstein Collaboration
December 09, 2020

Deepening Impact: a Tang-Klingenstein Collaboration

Graduate students from the Klingenstein Center share evidence-based strategies for enhancing the Institute’s impact
by Tang Institute

As a center for the advancement of teaching, learning and outreach, the Tang Institute is always seeking ways to connect and partner with other educational leaders. In previous years, we have welcomed graduate students from the Klingenstein Center to campus, most notably in 2019 for the 30th Anniversary celebration of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance. This year, the Tang Institute has been fortunate to undertake a year-long partnership with Mary-Patricia Moynihan and Matt Spotts, two graduate students from the Klingenstein’s Center’s Private School Leadership program.

On-site research in a school community has long been a feature of this graduate program. Knowing that the pandemic would make such an arrangement impossible, administrators in the Klingenstein program instead decided to open up the practicum placement sites to schools around the world. Applications were solicited, and the Tang Institute’s was accepted. Describing this undertaking in more detail, Klingenstein faculty member and course instructor Rebecca Stillwell said, “The Klingenstein Center is excited to partner with schools across the US and internationally to engage in a collaborative process to analyze a problem of practice and co-develop an evidence-based strategic change plan for the school. Applied research strategies and best practices in leading organizational change and consultation guide the partnership.”

Klingenstein faculty member Rebecca Stillwell shares goals of the practicum with partners.

As part of their work in their course, “Evidence-based Change and Consulting in Schools,” Moynihan and Spotts have met weekly with Currie Family Director Andy Housiaux for the past six weeks. So far, these conversations have focused on two major areas: the ways in which the Institute supports its faculty fellows, and the ways in which new ideas and teaching models developed by faculty fellows spread to a broader audience – on and off campus.

These ongoing exchanges have highlighted the central role that the Tang Institute plays in the life of Andover. Moynihan and Spotts observed, “The Tang Institute is a remarkable asset to Phillips Academy. We’ve been particularly struck by its bold vision and by the concrete ways it enables educators to explore new and dynamic ways of impacting the student experience. We look forward to studying ways that the Institute can continue to deepen and expand its mission.”

Speaking of the deep value of this collaboration, Housiaux said, “Matt and Mary-Patricia are astute listeners who have brought theoretical, research-based perspectives to bear on our work at Tang. Combined with their own deep experience in a range of school contexts, they are ideal partners to help us at the Institute think about how we can continue to grow and best support teachers and students.

The year-long collaboration allows ample time for idea exchange and strategic planning.

This year-long partnership will also serve as an important foundation for upcoming strategic planning at the Institute. After seven years, the Institute has supported 63 fellows and 44 projects. “There’s a lot to look at: some successes, some missteps, some standout work.” Housiaux said. “The data-driven approach that Mary-Patricia and Matt will undertake will help us identify what essential factors make a project most likely to succeed. These findings will then inform our efforts to identify and recruit fellows in order to support the most impactful initiatives going forward.”

While there has already been some great momentum, we are still at the very beginning of this undertaking. We will continue to post updates and share progress throughout the year. For now, all of us here at the Tang Institute would like to express our thanks to Matt and Mary-Patricia, Professor Stilwell, and Nicole Furlonge, the Klingenstein Family Director of the Center. We are grateful for your vision and your partnership!

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