Friday, June 12, 2015

How PBE is Different Revision 1

In an earlier post I tried to explain how a PBE classroom would look different. It was not a very good explanation. So I turned to some truly brilliant educators at the Q.E.D. Foundation in Amherst, NH. They have been working on a transformational educational model for maybe over a decade. Kim Carter the director of Q.E.D. first shared this graphic with me at conference maybe as many years ago. It has been hanging over my various desks ever since she gave it to me. At the time the concepts were way above my head, but now I am beginning to understand it and I think it is a useful way of looking how a truly proficiency based system is different from where we are now.

For me the 22 indicators in the graphic describe a transformation system that looks very much like what Vermont is calling for in act 77 and the Educational Quality Standards.

This from Q.E.D. explains how to read the graphic.
As  change progresses from left to right (from traditional to transformational), the depth of the color blue increases accordingly, indicating the depth (and fidelity) of implementation required. For some indicators the progression from one degree of change to another is not a smooth or natural one; these are illustrated by a white gap in the row. The white gaps indicate the need for the educational system to break with one practice – and often a corresponding set of beliefs and assumptions – in order to embrace the next. The two practices cannot exist side-by-side in any meaningful way. (Q.E.D. Foundation).
This of course is a model for a Transformational School System. Models guide practice, but they are not practice. The graphic hopefully gives us something to think about, for example in the indicator School Wide Learning Goals a transformational system would set goals according to learner aspirations and life options. That leads us to implementation questions; how do we do that? what does it look and sound like? There is where our work lies. This transformation will not happen overnight nor in a handful of professional learning days. It is going to take steady forward pressure for years until these practices become our new "culture".

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