Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone about a controversial topic and realized that you both were using incendiary language to further your own message? Society has reached a point where the words we choose to describe certain topics have taken over the language so much so that we lose control of our message – especially in education reform.
The Frameworks Institute was developed to help organizations take back control of the language in their fields. Their goal is to further the understanding of social issues using effective communications research. They work with teams of social policy experts in addition to communications scholars and practitioners to first understand the research problem and then develop strategies for getting around it. The work centers around what they call a “Strategic Frame Analysis” that delves into how people think about complex issues.
Luckily for us, the Frameworks Institute has developed a toolkit to advance the understanding of education reform. It can be referenced on the website here. It is designed to support communicators and leading voices in the field of education in explaining the many complex issues in and around education such as curriculum and instruction, equity, time, teacher quality, and reform, among others.
Straight from the website, the toolkit includes:
- ample “ready to go” communications that can be used as is or adapted and repurposed for your organization’s needs;
- communications examples that demonstrate the “do’s and dont’s” of the framing recommendations;
- graphics and video animations that model the key concepts of the recommendations;
- annotations that explain the framing strategies being illustrated, so that the recommendations can be extended to new communications you create.
In addition to toolkits, Frameworks has developed a series of self-guided learning activities where you can run through material they developed at your own pace. It’s a great way to become familiar with the relevant concepts and then have an opportunity to exercise that knowledge in a safe place. Activities range from eWorkshops to games to framing files. Check it out!
We hope you can access this toolkit and use it in ways that help you communicate your strategies, policies and goals in a more effective manner. As Frameworks states, public thinking can be like a swamp. Their toolkit was developed to help you navigate that swamp to get your message through and hopefully further your organization’s end goal, whatever that may be.
More information can be found on their website at www.frameworksinstitute.org.