This article by Santiago Rincón-Gallardo and Richard F. Elmore explores the question of how and under what conditions a countercultural educational practice can be brought to scale as a reform initiative. Highlighting the evolution of the Learning Community Project (LCP) in Mexico, the authors present a practice that runs counter to the traditional culture and power relations of schooling. The authors examine how the LCP succeeded in expanding to hundreds of schools and was recently adopted as part of a national strategy to transform teaching and learning in nine thousand schools across Mexico. The authors connect knowledge on bringing instructional improvement to scale with social movement theory to advance the idea of educational change as a social movement. Rincón-Gallardo and Elmore explore the implications of the work of the LCP for theory, practice, and policy—calling for an alternative approach that challenges the traditional top-down view of educational practice and policy, and instead conceptualizes the teacher-student and policy-practice pairs as dialectical and horizontal relationships of mutual influence.

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