Rural Schools Collaborative Theory of Change
A Theory of Change and Logic Model are often used interchangeably. However, they convey different but linked lenses. A Theory of Change often describes the big picture vision of the organization and connected elements while a Logic Model articulates the details of specific program areas. We are building a Theory of Change that includes some elements of logic models to help articulate need, activities/inputs, outputs, and long-term vision. Values are a critical component to help guide the process and are included below.
Building sustainable rural communities through a keen focus on place, teachers, and philanthropy.
- Equity: We create space to amplify, seek leadership from, and include contribution from marginalized identities and communities.
- Relationships: We connect people and build relationships to foster collaborative success.
- Sparking ideas and starting small: We believe that great ideas start small and grow big.
- Scale: We support scalable practices.
- Letting go: We let go of projects that others are better poised to grow.
- Hope and possibility: We see unconditional positive regard for the potential of rural places.
- Doing: We do things that directly impact rural communities.
This is why Rural Schools Collaborative exists.
- Schools are decontextualized. While schools are often central to rural communities, the core learning approach in schools is disconnected from the present and future condition of the community. We support schools to link learning to place in order to change the future of the community.
- Rural teacher numbers are declining. It is getting harder to find quality teachers in rural spaces. We advocate for an abundance of high quality teaching in rural spaces.
- Funding levels are challenging. Rural schools are underfunded in high-poverty areas. We build resources and connections to support rural school community, regional philanthropy to fund innovative educational projects in schools
- Teachers are professionally isolated: Rural schools and organizations are disconnected from each other. We connect rural schools and organizations around the nation.
Every rural community has well-resourced schools (3) with empowered and talented teachers and leaders (2) who develop agency in young people to see a positive future in their community (1). Through a connected rural collaborative, high quality effective learning experiences are shared and scaled (4).
**Note that each element of the vision statement has a number that links to the Need Statement above.