Systems and Systems Reform

Public Perceptions Research

Framing Education Reform: A FrameWorks MessageMemo (2010).  This is one of two summary analyses pulling together several years of FrameWorks’ qualitative and quantitative research on how Americans think about the education system in general and education reform in specific.   Includes recommendations for using values and explanatory metaphors to frame a wide array of policies from pre-K to higher education.

Reform What? Individualist Thinking in Education: American Cultural Models on Schooling (2008) Cognitive interviews conducted by FrameWorks show that involved citizens overwhelmingly think about education at the individual level and have difficulty thinking about schooling and learning as a public good that requires societal investment.  This report, based on 49 in-depth interviews, offers a preliminary map of the most relevant cultural models that guide Americans’ thinking about education.

Enough Blame To Go Around: Understanding the Public Discourse on Education Reform
(2009) This report shares the results of 18 focus groups conducted in 7 cities with diverse groups of politically engaged people around the United States. This research shows that Americans generally understand the education system as “failing” but lack an organized understanding of the way the system functions or how it may be improved.  A key impediment to education reform is the lack of agency that is evident in these discussions.

Media Content Analyses

**New** Magic Bullets Hanging by a Thread: Cognitive Media Analysis of Structures of Education and Education Policies and Programs (2013).
This report is part of a series that analyzes media discourses regarding learning, education and education reform and how these discourses impact public understanding of these issues. In this installment, FrameWorks researchers analyzed and identified dominant media frames regarding structures of education and education programs and policies. Relevant stories from newspapers across the country, television broadcasts and news-oriented blogs between October 1, 2010 through October 1, 2011 were examined.

Overarching Patterns in Media Coverage of Education Issues: A Cognitive Media Analysis (2012).
This report is part of a series that analyzes media discourses regarding learning, education and education reform and how these discourses impact public understanding of these issues. FrameWorks researchers identified dominant media frames that cut across the following issues related to education: skills and learning, learning space and time, assessment, education programs, educational disparities, policies and interventions, structures of education, the goals or ends of the education system. Relevant stories were drawn from newspapers across the country, television broadcasts and news-oriented blogs between October 1, 2010 through October 1, 2011.

Put Your Pencils Down Please: Media Coverage of Education Reform 2007-2008 (2009)This study was designed to gain an understanding of how major and select local media cover the ongoing debates over education reform. Relevant stories about reforms aimed at the pre-K through high school years from June 1, 2007, through July 31, 2008 were examined. Researchers found that education reform is typically covered as a local issue where the goal of improved student achievement is juxtaposed against the chronic resource constraints of local school systems.

Don't Give Up On Education!: A Cognitive Analysis of the Media Coverage of Education Reform 2007-2008 (2009) In this second media analysis, FrameWorks researchers analyze how dominant frames in the news coverage of education reform impact public understanding of this issue. Issues in media depictions of education and education reform are examined and suggestions for future framing strategies are suggested.

Reframing Research

Steps Towards Valuing Education (2012).
An interactive multi-media report that summarizes the results of our quantitative experiment on the effects of values on the issues of skills and learning, learning space and time, and assessment. The report includes an interactive chart on page 14 that shows how each value fared on each issue. By clicking on the chart, you can also see the iterations of each value and the policy battery for each issue. The report also includes video of informants using values in a social context.

Preparing America for the 21st Century: Values that Work in Promoting Education Reform Efforts (2010). This report details the results of an experimental survey of more than 1,800 registered voters and explores the extent to which alternative values elevate public support for a wide range of education reforms.  The report demonstrates the power of using the value of Future Preparation in communications about education reform, examines the performance of this value across several different types of cognitive tests, and provides guidance to advocates about the wisdom of combining messaging across different levels of the educational system.  Our results on the latter suggest that advocates should be careful about combining communications about preschool with those related to education at the K-12 and higher education levels.

Orchestrating Systems and Remodeling Reform: Reframing Education Reform with Explanatory Metaphors (2010)
The research described in this report identifies two explanatory metaphors that, through a multi-method empirical testing and refinement process, have proven effective in extending and shifting patterns of thinking about education reform.

Video Presentations of Research

The Education Trigger Video is an overview of the explanatory metaphors developed and tested to help the public better understand the American education system and how to reform it. 

Reform What? American Public Opinions on Education, is a video presentation of the findings from 49 in-depth cognitive interviews, conducted on seven states. The purpose of this work was to identify the common assumptions that Americans have about what education is and how it works. Excerpts from real interviews are included and recommendations for improved communications strategies are provided.

Communications Toolkits

Education Reform Toolkit - A toolkit containing Talking Points, Frequently Asked Questions, Sample Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor and other tools for communicating about education and education reform. Also includes a video presentation of initial findings from our research, and two briefs that elaborate on core findings related to The Achievement Gap and 21st Century Skills.

Online Courses

Education Nation - This highly visual E-Workshop will take you through the research findings on Education and test your framing IQ in a series of interactive exercises.