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According to John Dewey, "Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself." 

A number of years ago, Carl Rogers wrote a book called ON BECOMING.  A few years later, he said that he got the message of his book wrong and wrote a replacement book called ON BEING.  Sometimes our fast-paced high expectations for students can run the danger of trying to prepare and advance students for later stages of learning before they have had full opportunity to understand the learning in which they are currently presented. 

Within current learning, we hold high value for depth of learning (multiple and different types of learning) and for relevance (how learning connects to their own lives and to the world).  To swiftly and automatically recite, without understanding purpose, context, or relevance misses opportunities for students to be fully engaged in their own learning.  Schools have traditionally used various approaches to generate extrinsic motivation for student learning, but engagement in learning requires effort to also generate intrinsic motivation within students.  This intrinsic motivation is what we refer to in our Royal International School VISION as "inspires a passion for learning". 

  "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."

While there are frequently conversations about teaching among teachers and administrators, we know that we need to further focus and deepen our conversations about the quality of student learning among our diverse learners.   In this sense, we move toward being more true to the strategic area of our VITAL FEW as it relates to "Extraordinary Care for the Welfare of Each Child" academically, emotionally, socially, and physically.

The following are the school-wide Action Plans for Student Learning:

Curriculum

  • Develop broad-based awareness and understanding for cross-curricular expectations (i.e., Desired Student Learning Outcomes, Core Values, Information Literacy, Technology Standards, Global Issues, Communication Skills), and develop approaches on how to effectively and efficiently integrate, assess, and report them.
  • Review current approaches to global issues in the school-wide curriculum and extra-curricular programs, and provide a report on status and possible recommendations.
  • "Development Year" (i.e., adoption of curriculum, budgeting for instructional resources, and two-year UbD/Atlas unit development) for Science, Physical Education, and Health.
  • "Study Year" for English/RLA.

Assessment

  • Develop school-wide philosophy and clarity on "best practices" for assessment of student learning.
  • Review the types of assessments that are used in classrooms and for different kinds of placements of students in all subject areas.
  • Further develop sources of data collection that can be used on division and school levels for analysis and decision-making, particularly as it relates to enhanced student learning.

Instruction/Learning

  • Develop administrator protocols in "Looking for Learning" in classrooms, and support the use of these protocols through weekly classroom walkthroughs by collaborative teams of administrators.
  • Clarify and support differentiated instruction "look fors" in classrooms.
  • Support implementation of cross-curricular expectations with students in classrooms.
  • Develop a technology vision and plan as it relates to integration of technology in classrooms.
  • Develop a distributed instructional leadership model to further support and enhance student learning.

In closing, the research on improved student learning clearly shows that significant improvement is gained when the school, home, and students share in responsibilities for student learning and success

The Academic Team                                                                            

 

 


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