In and of the City: Theory of Action and the NYU Partnership School Program

Joseph P. McDonald, Myrrh Domingo, Jill V. Jeffery, Rosa Riccio Pietanza, Frank Pignatosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the theory of action underlying New York University's (NYU's) Partnership Schools Program-explaining in the process what a theory of action is, and how it can be constructed for other innovations in other contexts. NYU's Partnership Program involves 23 schools, K-12, spanning several of New York City's most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. It operates on the basis of what the authors call "mutual self-interest" and exploits what they call "complementarity." The authors illuminate the program's original as well as its evolving intentions, and the environmental conditions necessary to enact them and to sustain the program over a decade. They also describe the program's core design elements, with a view to how these may be replicated elsewhere. Finally, they look closely at the Partnership's theory of action in action, employing action research data to portray a meeting where professors and teachers discuss the teacher education residency experiment they have collaboratively launched.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-593
Number of pages16
JournalPeabody Journal of Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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