Category: Uncategorized

International High School in Langley Park Creates a Learner-Driven System for English Language Learners in Maryland

April 5, 2018 by

Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on January 22, 2018.  It is the sixth blog in a series that explores the ideas in the iNACOL report, Next Generation Learning Model for English Language Learners: Promising Practices and Considerations for Teaching and Learning. Read the first post here.

The field of K–12 education is in early stages of designing new, next generation learning models that hold promise for better meeting the needs of all students. This early research is focused on how schools are beginning to innovate, how their approaches are aligned to the research on how students learn best, and specifically, how English language learner (ELL) students learn best. While these next generation models are nascent and most are fewer than ten years in implementation, our goal is to provide examples of case studies of how the field is beginning to take hold and suggest lessons learned for the evolution forward. (more…)

Personalized, Competency-Based Education for English Language Learners

March 29, 2018 by

Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on January 15, 2018.  It is the fifth blog in a series that explores the ideas in the iNACOL report, Next Generation Learning Model for English Language Learners: Promising Practices and Considerations for Teaching and Learning. Read the first post here.

Designing new learning environments based on ensuring every student reaches mastery of the knowledge, skills and dispositions is critical. What is competency-based education and why does it matter for rethinking instruction to better serve all students? (more…)

What Will Students Experience in a Competency-Based School?

March 27, 2018 by

As you might know, CompetencyWorks has been using virtual collaborative processes, fondly known as a Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs), to build knowledge that draws from local, state, and national leaders. In a TAG that was aimed at creating a way of defining and explaining competency-based education, an unexpected set of ideas was developed: What should students expect to experience in a competency-based school? We hadn’t planned to build this out, but now we have it.

Districts and schools, after adapting for their own approach based on their student outcomes and the mediating factors of who their student population is as well as the local context, should be able to turn this into a rubric or survey to provide feedback on how deep and broad their implementation is. However, I’d like to ask you: How might you change or add to this list of the expected student experience in a personalized, competency-based school?

What will students experience in a competency-based school?

Below are examples of experiences that every student should have in a well-developed personalized, competency-based system.

1. I will be fully supported in developing academic knowledge and skills, the ability to apply what I have learned to solve real-world problems, and the capacities I need to become an independent and lifelong learner. (more…)

The Promise of Next Generation Learning Models for English Language Learners

March 14, 2018 by

Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on January 8, 2018.  It is the fourth blog in a series that explores the ideas in the iNACOL report, Next Generation Learning Model for English Language Learners: Promising Practices and Considerations for Teaching and Learning. Read the first post here.

Next generation learning models hold promise for transforming education for every student by providing a personalized, student-centered approach to learning. It’s worth comparing how the current system is falling short of preparing English language learner (ELL) students for success in several key areas and how next generation models may better serve the needs of all students and solve critical flaws in the education system and improve learning outcomes for all. (more…)

Promising Practices for Teaching English Language Learners

March 8, 2018 by

Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on January 2, 2018.  It is the third blog in a series that explores the ideas in the iNACOL report, Next Generation Learning Model for English Language Learners: Promising Practices and Considerations for Teaching and Learning. Read the first post here.

Ensuring success for English language learner (ELL) students requires challenging commonly held assumptions of teaching and learning for this student population. Educators and education programs must move away from making English language proficiency an end to itself and focus on supporting success for the whole child. Instruction should be focused on how ELL students learn best and personalized to meet each learner where they are.

This blog explores promising practices in teaching for ELL students, and how student-centered learning can provide the environment and instruction to best support each student.

Research on how ELL students learn best generally covers three main categories: instructional strategies, learning supports and assessments. When aligned, best practices in these three categories can support ELL students in overcoming variances in proficiency in their prior language and content knowledge. (more…)

Differentiation to Mass Customization: Same Goal, Different Eras

March 4, 2018 by

If there is one example that best exemplifies the paradigm shift from industrial to information eras, it is the example used by Todd Rose in The End of Average (Rose, 2016). In this book, he outlines the shortcomings of the concept of average. He talks about how the US Air Force had to make a major mental shift in how they thought about designing jet cockpits. Jet cockpits were initially designed to fit the average sized pilot. Sadly, through a series of events, they found that none of 4,000 pilots shared all ten physical body traits of their “average” pilot. In fact, only a small percentage had three measurements in common with their model of average. The Air Force was designing cockpits for non-existent pilots. In response, the Air Force now builds cockpits that are adjustable to varying degrees, so that you might say they are designing to the edges rather than the average. Pilots of great size variation can now fly jets. (more…)

Moving from Current Models of Teaching English Language Learners to New Learning Models Designed to Meet the Needs of All Students

March 3, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on December 18, 2017.  It is the second blog in a series that explores the ideas in the iNACOL report, Next Generation Learning Model for English Language Learners: Promising Practices and Considerations for Teaching and Learning. Read the first post here.

The previous blog explored the necessity of moving schools from one-size-fits-all structures to new learning models that can better serve ELL students. This blog will examine how current models of teaching and learning are leaving many ELL students behind.

First, we will unpack the designation of “English Language Learner” and the types of educational services these learners receive.

Who Are English Language Learners?

(more…)

Next Generation Learning Models for English Language Learners

February 16, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on December 11, 2017. It is the first blog in a series that explores the ideas in the iNACOL report, Next Generation Learning Model for English Language Learners: Promising Practices and Considerations for Teaching and Learning

iNACOL’s recent report, Next Generation Learning Model for English Language Learners: Promising Practices and Considerations for Teaching and Learning, provides an in-depth analysis of how new models in learning can be leveraged in service of English language learner (ELL) students. The report explores the early stages of innovation in new school models serving ELL students and provides recommendations and lessons learned to build knowledge in the field of K-12 education. A key purpose of the research for the paper is to examine new pathways that offer students multiple opportunities to prepare them for future success and explore ways that educators are personalizing learning using advanced technologies to support and serve ELL students’ unique needs. (more…)

It’s Time to Submit Proposals to the CBE Strand at iNACOL

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iNACOL is now accepting Requests for Presentation Proposals to present at the iNACOL Symposium, held at the Nashville Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee on October 21-24, 2018. This year’s theme is: Driving the Transformation of LearningiNACOL’s annual conference is the premier learning conference for those driving the transformation of education systems and accelerating the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all. Experts, practitioners, educators, policymakers, researchers, and innovators gather and work to transform education.

To access the RFP and submit your proposal to present, please click hereThe deadline for submitting presentation proposals is Friday, March 16, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. You can download the RFP questions in advance by clicking this link. The iNACOL Program Committee will notify applicants of proposal status no later than Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (more…)

Educating for Global Competence: 6 Reasons, 7 Competencies, 8 Strategies, 9 Innovations

December 29, 2017 by

This post originally appeared at Getting Smart on September 5, 2017.

Everything is global–trade and economics, media and information. Young people are more likely than ever to interact with people from different cultures while at home and on the road. As we become more connected, more interdependent, how do we prepare young people for the world they will inherit? We see six reasons, seven competencies, eight strategies and nine innovations.

6 Reasons Global Competence Matters

The Asia Society Center for Global Education notes five reasons why global competence matters and we should be engaging young people now in learning experiences that focus on developing these skills, attitudes and dispositions. We added an additional benefit.

1. Global competence is the toolkit that a productive, involved citizenry uses to meet the problems and opportunities of the world. In the curriculum, global competence challenges students to investigate the world, consider a variety of perspectives, communicate ideas and take meaningful action. A globally focused curriculum engages students in their own learning and motivates them to strive for knowledge and understanding. And a curious, inspired student strives to learn more in school and beyond.

2. A new generation of students requires different skills from the generations that came before. The world is changing fast. Boundaries—literal as well as figurative— are shifting and even disappearing altogether. The culture that once lived halfway around the world now lives just down the block. The ability to thrive in this new and rapidly changing environment is grounded in a globally focused curriculum.

3. More than ever before, individual actions reach around the globe. Environmental concerns, economic shifts, global poverty, population growth, human rights and political conflict can seem intractable and overwhelming, yet they absolutely require thoughtful action. In a globally focused curriculum, students learn that the world needs them to act, and that they can make a difference.

4. Global competence integrates knowledge of the world and the skill of application with the disposition to think and behave productively. Global competence is not restricted to knowing about other cultures and other perspectives. In addition to knowledge of the world, a globally competent citizen exhibits habits like critical thinking, rational optimism, innovation, empathy and awareness of the influences of culture on individual behavior and world events.

5. Success in career and life will depend on global competence, because career and life will play out on the global stage. Already, government, business and cultural institutions are called to solve the world’s problems cooperatively. Engaging in these challenges requires high-order knowledge and thinking skill, as well as shared language and cultural understanding. In a globally focused curriculum, students prepare to approach problems from multiple perspectives and to thrive in a global future.

6. Working with and building relationships with people who have different backgrounds adds meaning, depth and joy to your life. Varied perspectives and worldviews enhance our own understandings and constructs (both mental and social).

In Education for Global Competence: Preparing our Youth to Engage the World, Asia Society expounds upon these reasons for preparing for global competence and details exactly what they feel the four skills of globally competent students are: (more…)

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