Season 6, Episode 3

Focused implementation: Doing less to do more, with Dr. Doug Reeves

Educator, researcher, author, and leadership consultant Dr. Doug Reeves joins Susan to discuss his book Building to Impact. Together, they dive into what evidence-based implementation looks like, including the importance of de-implementation. Doug also provides advice on how to define success for your school, and the ways to make it happen by focusing on one thing at a time until it becomes part of your school’s culture.

Meet our guest(s):

Dr. Doug Reeves

Dr. Doug Reeves, Ph.D., is the author of more than 40 books and more than 100 articles on leadership and education. He has twice been named to the Harvard University Distinguished Authors Series and was named the Brock International Laureate for his contributions to education.

Meet our host, Susan Lambert

Susan Lambert is the Chief Academic Officer of Elementary Humanities at Amplify, and the host of Science of Reading: The Podcast. Her career has been focused on creating high-quality learning environments using evidence-based practices. Susan is a mom of four, a grandma of four, a world traveler, and a collector of stories.

As the host of Science of Reading: The Podcast, Susan explores the increasing body of scientific research around how reading is best taught. As a former classroom teacher, administrator, and curriculum developer, Susan is dedicated to turning theory into best practices that educators can put right to use in the classroom, and to showcasing national models of reading instruction excellence.


“When was the last time in education anybody heard of de-implementation? All we do is pile one thing on top of another, on top of another, and then we don't then, then we wonder why it didn't work.” —Dr. Doug Reeves
“If you're not gonna have deep implementation, which requires a level of focus and allocation of time and resources, then don't bother.” —Dr. Doug Reeves
“You have to have a singular focus and, and it's gotta be sustained year after year after year until it becomes part of your culture.” —Dr. Doug Reeves
“You have to distinguish between an initiative, something that is new, and culture, something that's part of what we do every day and that is embedded. That is more important.” —Dr. Doug Reeves
“The problem is this. If you only look at the results, then you don't know what caused it. Somebody has to look at underlying causes.” —Dr. Doug Reeves
“It's really important for administrators to say, 'Hey, I can deal with some chaos. I can deal with students making mistakes.' That's real learning.” —Dr. Doug Reeves

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