Have you ever been given a task but you were unsure of why you were doing it or its purpose? Even if you were successful, there was probably a level of frustration or anxiety. When we are learning something, we are more likely to be successful when we know what needs to be done and understand what a successful outcome looks like. Being as clear as possible about learning goals is essential to a high-quality education and a hallmark of exceptional, personalized learning in Eastern Carver County Schools. This is why our educators are putting academic standards front and center in the teaching and learning process.
You may have heard of “standards-based learning” or “standards-based grading.” It may sound like something new, but standards have always been foundational to the learning process. An educator must know what a learner should know and be able to do. Everyone involved in education from preschool through doctorate-level programs uses something like standards, whether they are called objectives, goals or outcomes. In Eastern Carver County Schools, we have put standards in place at all levels and in every subject. Having a standards-based education takes the mystery out of “what will I learn today.” Students can be more actively engaged in their learning when they know the expectations and the criteria for a success. Standards support personalized learning by allowing students more freedom and choice in how to learn a standard. Teachers and mentors further this personalization by working side-by-side with students to co-create learning opportunities. This makes learning more relevant and leads to more better outcomes.
- Eastern Carver County Schools develops most of its standards from Minnesota’s Academic Standards.
- Our state standards are comprehensive and detailed and are recognized as some of the best in the nation. However, it is estimated that teaching all of them in-depth would take 20-plus years, whereas we have 13 years with students. Therefore, we have an on-going process to focus on the most important concepts and skills that students must learn. Eastern Carver County Schools calls these “Power Standards.”