Graduate Learner Outcomes
Recently, I visited Stonefields School in Auckland, New Zealand. The school staff has designed Graduate Learner Outcomes. The Graduate Learner Outcomes provide students, families, and staff with a list of learning targets or desired outcomes. Does your school have agreed upon Graduate Learner Outcomes?
Graduate Learner Outcomes:
1. Building Learning Capacity
3. Making Meaning
4. Break Through
For a detailed explanation, visit Stonefields School.
Most schools allow each teacher to define learning and students get lost in the shuffle. How can a student focus on reflection, deep understanding, or applying prior knowledge when the learning target changes from one teacher to the next?
"When school staff have a more informed conception of curriculum, a teacher's daily decisions about how to deliver instruction not only affect student achievement in that classroom but also future student achievement, for it is assumed that students will be entering the next classroom prepared to handle a more sophisticated or more expanisve level of work" (Zmuda, Kuklis & Kline, 2004, p. 122). At Stonefields School, each teacher encourages students to seek their own pursuits. Personalized learning is enhanced through online or blended learning. Learning progressions allow students to demonstrate understanding of key concepts and skills, while showing their understanding in their own way. The Graduate Learner Outcomes are the same for all students enrolled in the school, but the road to success is different and students are allowed to choose their own path.
Questions To Consider:
1. Does your school or school district have Graduate Learner Outcomes?
2. When do students have the opportunity to choose their own learning path or the manner in which they will demonstrate understanding?
3. What matters most? Have all teachers reflected on the guaranteed goals of a K-12 education in your school or school district?
4. How do you measure if students are growing and making progress towards the Graduate Learner Outcomes?
5. What is the purpose of school?
For more information on developing Graduate Learner Outcomes, visit Institutional Toolkit for Engaging with Graduate Outcomes - Key Steps for Institutions (AKOAOTEAROA: National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence).
About the Author
Dr. Steven Weber is the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning with Fayetteville Public Schools (Arkansas). He is participating in "A Learning Journey: Global Perspectives to Ignite Innovation in Education" with two principals and two teacher leaders from Fayetteville Public Schools, along with other educators from Northwest Arkansas. The trip is sponsored by the Walton Family Foundation and the Office of Innovation in Education.
This is a study tour of New Zealand's educational system and selected innovative schools. Efforts will then turn to transforming ideas learned during the study tour into action. The group is focused on learning how to create the conditions to generate, enhance, and scale dynamic innovative approaches to education.