The world around us is rapidly changing at historically unprecedented rates especially in technological advances. Schools have the tremendous task of preparing our students for jobs that don't exist yet, where they will need to solve problems that have not yet emerged, and use technologies that have not been invented. In addition to a strong background in academics, our students will also need a strong growth mindset and 21st Century skills that are essential for success in the world of work, college, and life.
As part of District 51's transformation process, teachers and administrators have been studying the future and why transforming into a 21st Century school district is imperative. We are no longer living in the Industrial Age and much of what we do no longer makes sense. Three big changes have occurred that make the Industrial Age public education system, which was designed primarily to develop a labor workforce, obsolete. The Internet has made knowledge a commodity that is free and easily accessible. As a result, knowledge is not enough and what really matters is what you can do with what you know. Second, the onset of the new machine age is causing many labor jobs to be automated, shipped overseas, or soon to be replaced by robots. In fact, a study by Georgetown University reported that by the year 2020, 74% of all jobs in Colorado will require some college education or a degree. Finally, the third big change is that transformative technology is now making our world and just about every industry more customized. Think iTunes, Starbucks, Facebook, and Netflix. Today's digital native students are growing up in a world that is increasingly getting more customized and it is time for public education to move in that direction.
Performance Based Learning (PBL) helps prepare all K-12 students for college and career by ensuring that they meet or exceed standards at a pace that is appropriately challenging, rather than waiting for their peers to catch up or moving on without having fully mastered the standards. Students demonstrate mastery in a set of standards within a subject before advancing.
It is personalized, not "one size fits all"
As a result, all students build a stronger academic foundation and are better able to master knowledge and skills critical to prepare them for college and career.
Performance Based Learning will impact every student, every classroom, and every parent as District 51 transforms over the next few years. The district will work collaboratively to answer numerous questions during the transformation process – from determining how to weave important life skills into the academic setting to deciding how teachers will determine whether a student has proven he or she understands a piece of curriculum and is ready to move onto the next piece of the content puzzle.
It will take time to answer all of these questions. For now, click here for some questions that have been answered.
During the 2015-2016 school year, District 51 is focusing on implementing phase one and phase two in the seven demonstration/learning sites. The sites include: Broadway, Chipeta, Lincoln Orchard Mesa, and New Emerson elementary schools, East Middle and, Grand Mesa Middle schools and R-5 High School.
Phase one, laying the foundation for Performance Based Learning, begins implementation at the seven demonstration sites and across the district. Phase one includes teaching students and staff about having a "growth mindset," social-emotional learning (Habits of Mind), and personalized learning.
Having a "growth mindset" means believing that hard work and dedication develops one's abilities; brains and talent are just part of the success equation. Fixed mindsets believe intelligence and talent are predetermined, and can't be developed beyond a certain point.
Habits of Mind is an educational concept that focuses on developing the attributes of intelligence. Habits of persistence, listening, controlling impulses -- ways in which we can teach students to think instead of just know the information we share.
Phase two, supporting effective practices, delves deeper into aligning standards across schools, establishing rubrics, and sampling differentiated units in the classroom. Growth mindset is a current focus in the seven demonstration schools.
What's Next in PBL.pdf
A Culture Shift.pdf
What's Next in Performance Based Learning.pdf
The Culture Shift of Performance Based Learning.pdf
Student-driven teacher-facilitated learning.pdf
Why Performance Based Learning.pdf
Frequently Asked Questions.pdf
Habits of Mind.pdf
Phases of Performance Based Learning Implementation.pdf
Introducing Performance Based Learning.pdf