STIR seeks to identify, tes,t and scale promising school and teacher 'micro-innovations' to improve educational outcomes for the poorest children. It also aims to build the largest network of innovative teachers across the developing world, starting in India and moving to East Africa later this year. STIR has brokered an extensive network of partnerships including governments, private sector entities, and non-profits who support a range of activities including evaluation, scaling, creating diverse revenue streams, and operating new innovation networks.
STIR believes that the most effective method of change is to build on what the best teachers and schools are already doing. STIR has created a new mechanism for collating the best ‘micro-innovations’ taking place in classrooms and staff rooms. By rigorously assessing impact on learning and attainment, STIR aims to replicate and scale-up the most effective micro-innovations across the developing world. The approach, while maintaining rigor, is focused on the human rather than mechanistic adoption of innovation. Their work operates at the teacher level where STIR seeks to inspire consciousness and a culture of improvement in the classroom. The innovations are usually low cost and many aim to save the schools money. STIR works with low cost private schools, NGO-operated schools and government schools. It is currently primarily focused on the primary sector but is expanding to secondary education.
Within 5 years, STIR aims to have supported the micro-innovations of over 1,000 Innovators and partner schools in over 15 developing world cities. In doing so, the aim is to directly increase the attainment of between 3 and 5 million children, and indirectly influence the educational outcomes of tens of millions more through wider policy impact.