CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Scaffolded Apprenticeship Model (SAM)
Longitudinal external evaluation of the SAM program in New York City demonstrates its success in improving student outcomes at the school level: schools with 3+ years of involvement and commitment to the model bring significantly more struggling students on track to graduation than similar schools without the SAM intervention. It brings significant and lasting shifts in school culture as well, developing shared accountability, evidence-based practice and distributed leadership across these schools.
SAM is a model of school improvement through leadership development that involves teams of educators in strategic, inquiry-based research to improve the instructional systems that limit student success. The model can be rolled out as a certification-bearing leadership development program for individuals or teams, or as a more streamlined school improvement process not associated with university credit.
The heart of the model is a highly scaffolded process that guides teams to identify a learning gap for struggling students; analyze how instructional systems produce it; and act in iterative evidence-based cycles to remove the identified constraint. This process—particularly the requirement that teams diagnose and track improvement in a targeted skill gap for specific students—develops the practices and habits of mind necessary for continuous improvement. After teams have internalized these skills and habits along with SAM’s inquiry process, they lead other colleagues to learn them.