Project: National Science Foundation’s Implementation and Dissemination Centers

Authors: Mark St. John, Barbara Heenan, Nina Houghton, Pam Tambe

Type: Report

Publication: December 2001

The NSF Implementation and Dissemination Centers: An Analytic Framework (pdf, 34 pages)


This report examines the first generation of the National Science Foundation-funded Implementation and Dissemination Centers. Its purpose is to portray the experiences of and capture the lessons learned by these Centers in such a way that it informs the design of future Centers. The ideas presented in this report are largely drawn from the discussions that took place at a conference held in Annapolis, Maryland in June 2001. The conference included leaders of all eight Implementation and Dissemination Centers, outside experts, as well as several NSF program officers.

Analytical in its perspective, this report discusses the key dimensions along which Center design decisions must be made. These design decisions define the goals and the work of Centers, and this paper presents an analysis of the trade-offs that exist for different decisions within each of the key design dimensions. Also presented (in an attached appendix) are three “design scenarios” that bring together sets of design decisions and offer alternative ways to construct future Implementation and Dissemination Centers. Finally, the paper concludes with overarching thoughts about the importance of the Centers and the roles that they can play in promoting mathematics and science education reform.

Intended Audience

Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) Education Leaders, District Administrators, and general public.


These materials do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Any and all errors are claimed by the authors of this document, Inverness Research, Inc.

Distribution Policy

Inverness Research Inc. grants permission to print and distribute copies.