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Table 1 Distinguishing between change theory and a theory of change

From: Change theory and theory of change: what’s the difference anyway?





Change theory

Framework of ideas, supported by evidence, that explains some aspect of change beyond a single initiative

Generalizable beyond a single initiative

Peer-reviewed literature and books relevant to change in STEM higher education

Theory of change

A particular approach for making underlying assumptions in a change project explicit, and using the desired outcomes of the project as a mechanism to guide project planning, implementation, and evaluation

Single change initiative

Created and refined by project team