What has been the impact of your solution to date?
The BRIDGE® Model of Transformational Learning intervention has been implemented with successful outcomes in four different contexts: a) with college students, b) with high school students, c) with elementary school students and d) with the Kichwa indigenous community of Rio Blanco in the Amazon rainforest. One example of this intervention happened in 2004. The BRIDGE® Model was implemented in Morris Hills High School to try to address the lack of academic success of immigrant Latino students. Their 2003 NJ Report card showed very low scores for their Latino students. However, after the intervention, by 2010 in their NJ Report Card, the same high school has the highest scores for immigrant Latino students in New Jersey (Gordon & Vergara, 2009).
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
At Morris Hills high school, through the diversity Committee meetings, the task at these meetings was to bring together all relevant participants through inclusive processes of 'naturalistic recruitment’. These meetings provided with the opportunity to use ‘big picture’ systems thinking to assist us to see the challenges we were facing and through collaborative inquiry enable us to draw the best ‘theoretical ’maps’ by which we could navigate until better ones were found. And despite the incessant paradoxical nature of people’s commitment to keep the status quo or to change our way of thinking, we then began to watch systemic change.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
A dominant and current research paradigm is based in studies "ON" the targeted populations. On the other hand, the BRIDGE® Model intervention is a different paradign research because involves research "WITH" the community participants, not “on” or “about” them. To change the current paradigm, Argyris and Schon (1996) call us to recognize practitioners as inquirers and encourage the collaboration of researchers and practitioners. The scholar who designed the model is a practitioner that became a researcher and through collaborative action inquiry she was able to merge both the researcher and the practitioner.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
In 1996, I learned about my mental models through my “cultural shock” when I arrived to the United States to a different culture, language and system. I can say that I am looking at the “phenomena” from many different lenses, such as, an immigrant parent with children experiencing the academic achievement gap, as a founder and trustee of a charter school, as program officer at WKBJ Foundation evaluating charter schools at the national level, as a educational consultant working for the NJDOE evaluating schools who failed NCLB and as a doctoral candidate at Teachers College Columbia University. Through this learning from experience process, I designed the BRIDGE® Model of Transformational Learning based on my experience implementing the model in four different contexts successfully.