I have been thinking about approaches to phasing in Proficiency Based Education (PBE) in our SU. The picture above looks confusing, but actually it is fairly straight forward. However just because it is straight forward it is not going to be easy. In fact it is going to take considerable focus over the next years. Maintaining that focus is will be one of our biggest challenges.
Before I dig in with my explanation I want to stress that these phases are only to develop the framework for PBE the creativity and student engagement are still the work of the schools and teachers. This PBE framework will shift the focus of our planning, assessment and reporting but it will not supplant the creativity and autonomy of schools and teachers.
Proficiency Based Graduation Requirements. This particular image comes from the Science PBGR's.
If you look at the far left column "Graduation Proficiencies" you will see a numbered title in bold. Under that title is a statement. That statement is the Graduation Proficiency. In science there are a total of eight proficiencies. On the far right hand column "Performance Indicators -- High School". That column contains a number of statements or Indicators. In science the state has suggested approximately nine indicators per proficiency. So for example would have to show through work on a performance task, project, work-study or internship that they could do each of the indicators. Meeting these indicators does not happen all at once nor does it happen in the same place. One indicator might be met in an internship and another through a class project. They would then collect all the evidence that they met these indicators to show that they met the Graduation Proficiency.
assessment tool to anchor our process.
These first two phases will be exhausting and tedious. They are however, absolutely essential for our success in this transition. The good news is once they are done we will only return to them as reference materials.
The next three phases are tightly linked hence the messy picture here. However they are distinct phases of work each with their individual tasks and products. In Phase Three we will begin breaking the Indicators into smaller parts or specific skills. If you think about in Indicators as a project or exhibition the student completes to show they have proficiency, then the skills are the small parts of that project. For example if need to meet the indicator in science,
Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.then on skill students might work on is reading the Periodic Table. Developing these skill sets is a multi-year and evolving process. This work in this initial phase is just to begin building a common set of skills. Ideally over time we add to this and use it on a regular basis for module and lesson design.
Phase Four is the heart of our work. This is where teachers begin thinking about how they translate these proficiencies into actual lessons. I wrote an earlier post on how the LDC Module Framework works so I will not go into those details here, but if you read that post it becomes clear that teachers will need considerable instruction, time, space and feedback on this redesign. I have also been talking with special educators on the need to consider incorporating Universal Design for Learning into this process. Bringing these two programs together in our curriculum redesign is a monumental task, and an imperative one. This work will take up the lion's share of any professional time we have. It is far beyond the scope of staff meeting or inservice time.
Phase Five is the work around establishing common scoring elements. This work will, like the work in phases three and four needs to develop over time.
short video gives you some sense of the how that change may look.