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Identifying “core” elements helps develop the simplest, most scalable prototype.

Identifying “core” elements helps develop the simplest, most scalable prototype.

During the prototyping phase, participating teams were provided with a range of tools to develop and iterate the everyday practice they had selected. This included a “Core, Not Core” exercise. Inspired by developments in academic literature relating to implementation science, this tool enabled prototyping teams to discuss and generate consensus on which elements were key to the practice, and which could be at the discretion of the user. 

“Knowing the effective core intervention components may allow for more efficient and cost effective introduction of interventions and lead to confident decisions about the non-core components that can be adapted to suit local conditions at a local site.”1

Pilot districts noted this was a useful tool to strike a balance between acknowledging local school and classroom context (allowing for informal adaptation to occur), while supporting consistency in approach. Conversations to identify “core” elements of the practice also led to development of an increasingly concise, simple protocol, which made it easier later on to scale the practice to new sites. 

In SD 61 Greater Victoria, the prototype team used the Core, Not Core exercise to reflect on their experience with the 2 x 10 practice. Together, they explored whether two minutes was core or not, and through their analysis concluded that two minutes was indeed the minimum length for conversation. However, the “ten times” of interaction was questioned, with the team deciding that the teacher should simply initiate interactions until the student felt connected enough to initiate contact on their own. 

In SD 48 Sea to Sky, prototyping teams agreed that it was core for the Circle check-in to take place in a circle (and not, for example, in rows of desks). However, they enabled informal adaptation to school culture and rhythms by not specifying when in the day the Circle should take place.

Susan Michie, Dean Fixsen, Jeremy M Grimshaw and Martin P Eccles (2009). Specifying and reporting complex behaviour change interventions: the need for a scientific method. Implementation Science, 4:40