Learning to Lose Control:

How We Failed Face First in a Participatory Change Model that Actually Works

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Originally Published: March, 2020 By Danielle Clemmer, Katharine Clemmer, Cara Esposito, Katie Laskasky, Robert Sheffield Categories: Community Development

In this article, we’ll explore how our small but mighty team of school-based educators, university-based teacher preparation experts, non-profit consultants, and a small family foundation, over seven years, failed face forward, shifting from a flawed top-down, hierarchical approach to a promising problem-solving model called Collaborative Solution Discovery—a model originally developed by NASA/Lockheed Martin systems engineer Dr. William Cutler.

“We’ve been working our entire careers to fix math education—and we think we just might have hit upon something promising. Everything started to click once we embraced a participatory problem-solving approach, ushering in a new level of collaborative progress, both with the educators we serve and in our grantee-grantmaker relationship.”