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Creating the Space to Focus on What Works

First Edition

Foreword by Andreas Schleicher

June 2022 | 160 pages | Corwin

When it comes to school initiatives, more isn’t always better.

Today’s educators are buried under old practices, new ideas, and recommended initiatives. The problem? With such an abundance of strategies, it’s hard to recognize what, if anything, is working.

Before you’re tempted to add just one more idea to the pile, take a step back—and an objective look—so that you, central office leaders, building leaders, and teachers can decide which practices to keep, which to modify, and which to eliminate altogether. This guide provides

  • A research- and evidence-based framework for determining efficacy
  • Practical steps for removing, reducing, or replacing ineffective practices
  • Action steps, examples, and tips for beginning the work—and getting teacher buy-in
  • Templates for charting your school’s individual path to de-implementation

Ineffective practices don’t just waste teacher time; they can have a catastrophic impact on student progress. Use de-implementation to shine a light on the path forward—one where teachers can focus on what works, and students can focus on learning.

About the Author
What Are Educators Interested in De-implementing?
Chapter 1: The Trouble With Implementation (and how to make it better)
Educational Trends Over the Past Thirty Years

Five Reasons We Over-Implement

Improving Implementation

A Quick Guide for Good Implementation

Addressing Our Assumptions

Anticipating Roadblocks

Monitoring Our Minds—Mindset

In the End

Discussion Questions

Chapter 2: The De-implementation Research (with practical adaptations)
Defining De-implementation

Two Types of De-implementation

Formal and Informal De-implementation

Anticipating Roadblocks

Monitoring Our Minds: Unlearning and Relearning

In the End

Discussion Questions

Chapter 3: What Gets De-implemented (based on reflection and evidence)

Partial Reduction

Replacement Actions

The Foundations of Your De-implementation Plan

Criteria for What Gets De-implemented

Gathering Evidence

Gathering Questions

Anticipating Roadblocks

Monitoring Our Minds: Locus of Control

In the End

Discussion Questions

Chapter 4: The Cycle of De-implementation (for big ideas around school change)
The Cycle of De-implementation

Sometimes Slow Is Fast

Anticipating Roadblocks

Monitoring Our Minds: Filling the Void

In the End

Discussion Questions

Chapter 5: Your Team’s De-implementation Process (considering who you need and how fast to go)
This Chapter

Part I: Your Team

Pacing and Agendas

Part II: Your Official Cycle of De-implementation

Anticipating Roadblocks

Monitoring Our Minds: Well-Being

In the End

Discussion Questions

One Final Activity


Due to the increased stress and complex issues currently compounding educational systems, there is no better time than now to read DeWitt’s De-implementation. Filled with practical guidance, this book provides direction for educators to help navigate the de-implementation process. Specific steps are given for leaders and teachers to take together as they engage in critical conversations to understand the impact of their choices.

Mandi Olson, EdD
Alpine School District, American Fork, UT

Our current situation has created stressful challenges and uncertainties that could jeopardize our well-being as educators. Added expectations have shifted our attention away from our mission as educators—student learning. DeWitt provides a clear and evidence-based process to make us highly selective about what we bring into our schools.

Caroline Picard
Roberts Creek, BC, Canada

By integrating the evidence on effective implementation and collaboration throughout his book Peter DeWitt empowers schools with the rationale, tools and important discussions needed in schools for de-implementation. The De-implementation Handbook challenges schools to sharpen their focus and 'de-clutter' what has not made an impact in schools by strategically collaborating in schools and systems using a cycle of de-implementation that can support schools and systems to improve student outcomes and build collective teacher capability. DeWitt offers practical examples, and internal professional learning opportunities at the end of each chapter for schools and leaders to strengthen a shared language for supporting improvement in their contexts in closing the implementation gap for schools. 

Helen Butler
Partners in Learning, Sunbury, Vic, Australia

Peter Dewitt has a habit of leaping ahead avoiding tinkering and focusing on a substantial change agenda. Fortunately, he also insists on making the reader an action partner. There are five great ideas; and five stops along the way. Each time you have a ‘clutter check’ where you clean up before you proceed. De-implementation is a book that helps you de-tox your change agenda replacing it with a healthy, streamlined focus on what really works

Michael Fullan
Toronto, ON, Canada

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ISBN: 9781071885215
CAD$ 44.95

For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

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