#NAFNext2014
Being Student Centered: What Have We Learned
about Small Learning Communities?
#NAFNext2014
By the end of the sessions, we will:
• Reinforce - our understanding that a career
academy is a smaller learning community...
Student Centered Learning
• A set of practices, policies, and supports that
matter in building strong, capable, engaged
le...
The History (in ten minutes or less)
• Rousseau to Dewey to Sizer
• A Nation at Risk (1983) – Ted Sizer and the
Coalition ...
In Contrast, Tragic History
Students at the Center :
Personalization in Schools
“The personalization movement is intended
as an antidote to the widesp...
Reflections:
1. Backward Looking – What have you tried in
the past? How intentional and systematic
was the intervention o...
Reforms and Strategies for
Personalization
• Smaller learning communities/ Small schools
• Advisor-advisee programs/ stude...
Research on Smaller Learning Communities
Common Features:
1. Career academies and ninth grade academies
were the most popu...
Going Small: Scaling down
• Small schools/ SLC’s are particularly
effective for low income, minority youth
• MDRC’s study ...
NAF Academy Development: Standard 2
2.a Students are scheduled as a group – a
community of learners; their teachers know t...
Student Strengths, Teacher Benefits
Student strengths:
• Stronger student
accountability
• Performance-based
assessment
• ...
Student Strengths, Teacher Benefits
Student strengths:
• More opportunities
to develop socially
and academically
• Less an...
Reflections (cont.):
3. Outward Looking – Does your community
perceive your school/ academy as student
centered? How do yo...
Personalization = Creativity!
Placeholder for video:
#NAFNext2014
Steve Brown
Academy Development
Director, Region 2
sbrown@naf.org
646-341-1817
Dr. Anane Olatunji
Align Education LLC
aola...
Being Student Centered - What Have We Learned about Small Learning Communities
Being Student Centered - What Have We Learned about Small Learning Communities
Being Student Centered - What Have We Learned about Small Learning Communities
Being Student Centered - What Have We Learned about Small Learning Communities
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Being Student Centered - What Have We Learned about Small Learning Communities

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Does your program provide a customized experience that connects to every student? This approach, known as “personalization,” is a key concept that aligns with and has real implications for all elements of the NAF model. Come hear how one of NAF’s model academies uses a student-centered approach while serving an urban population of traditionally underserved students. The session will show how smaller learning communities are succeeding in personalizing secondary environments and how they have contributed to raising student achievement nationally.

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  • Welcome! Can this student be in high school?...possible; but the truth is, much of what we know about personalization, i.e., developmentally apropos c & I, came to us in secondary reform via the middle school movement…comments?
  • We are pulling this particular standard out and highlighting more than all the other standards/ SA’s because it is dedicated on the assessment to personalization. Put the question of how 2.d can be personalized to the audience.
  • Here are a couple photos an AOE director shared with me…but you can imagine it being any theme. What do we see here? Can we see a demonstration of learning? Of a sense of community?
  • (from last NAF Next, my presentation on Personalization) Anticipate some agitation and even emotion: how is your memory, your mental imagery of this awful school tragedy, in contrast to the last slide? Columbine gave rise to the SLC legislation – “Columbine” was Apr 20, 1999… Small Safe Schools Act, Sept 30, 1999…a very short window for Congress to pass a bill!
  • Ref to the research series, Students at the Center – this help segue to the WHY for small schools/ slc’s
  • This is our vision, and our goal for a more personalized, hands-on learning community
  • Have participants reflect on 1 & 2, using graphic organizer handout ; reflections 3 & 4 will come at subsequent intervals
  • These represent some of the best reform strategies to come out of the personalization movement; do we see the NAF model here? How have we done with cohorting?
  • U.S. Department of Education,

    Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, Policy and Program Studies Service, Implementation

    Study of Smaller Learning Communities, Final Report. Washington, D.C., 2008.
  • found that enrolling in a small school rather than a large, comprehensive high school, markedly improves graduation rates for low SES students of color
  • We are pulling this particular standard out and highlighting more than all the other standards/ SA’s because it is dedicated on the assessment to personalization. Put the question of how 2.d can be personalized to the audience.
  • Say, each team, please have your printed YOP Graduation Assessment in front of you; let’s make sure we’re comfortable with the format and directions.
  • Here we focus on the model’s first essential element, Academy Development; let’s walk through these standards and how we survey for supportive strategic actions.
  • Source: Downloaded April 15, 2014 from The Principals’ Partnership, Research Brief, Smaller Learning Communities: http://www.principalspartnership.com/
  • Let’s just take reflection #3 now
  • Closing grabber (cut this note IF I can actually run the video file…5-6 min clip): Finally, if we believe there is a connection between personalization and student achievement, which I think we are safe to say we do, there is also linkage between successful young people and creativity. After all, education is a human service….we must acknowledge our own humanity and the humanity of our students…and if there is one thing that makes us human, it is our capacity to create.
  • Being Student Centered - What Have We Learned about Small Learning Communities

    1. 1. #NAFNext2014
    2. 2. Being Student Centered: What Have We Learned about Small Learning Communities? #NAFNext2014
    3. 3. By the end of the sessions, we will: • Reinforce - our understanding that a career academy is a smaller learning community, and how that helps our students succeed • Reflect - on how you communicate your academy, and it’s positive implications, to your community • Renew– your commitment to creating a learning community; have a plan to implement one strategy or improvement to become more student centered
    4. 4. Student Centered Learning • A set of practices, policies, and supports that matter in building strong, capable, engaged learners. • Personalization is the network of highways, channels, streets and pathways that connect individuals engaged in the learning. • http://www.studentsatthecenter.org/topics
    5. 5. The History (in ten minutes or less) • Rousseau to Dewey to Sizer • A Nation at Risk (1983) – Ted Sizer and the Coalition of Essential Schools:  no teacher should have direct responsibility for more than 80 students • decisions about course of study, the use of students' and teachers' time, materials and pedagogies “must be unreservedly placed in the hands of the principal and staff.”
    6. 6. In Contrast, Tragic History
    7. 7. Students at the Center : Personalization in Schools “The personalization movement is intended as an antidote to the widespread feelings of anonymity, irrelevance, and disengagement that students report, especially in large, urban high schools.” S. Yonezewa, L. McClure, M. Jones
    8. 8. Reflections: 1. Backward Looking – What have you tried in the past? How intentional and systematic was the intervention or strategy? 2. Inward Looking – How do you feel about the intervention or strategy? What aspect connected with you the strongest? What posed the greatest challenge?
    9. 9. Reforms and Strategies for Personalization • Smaller learning communities/ Small schools • Advisor-advisee programs/ student voice • Cohort models and increased teacher time • Careers curriculum / project based learning for relevance, integration and CREATIVITY • Extra-curricular during the school day
    10. 10. Research on Smaller Learning Communities Common Features: 1. Career academies and ninth grade academies were the most popular SLC types 2. Block scheduling and teacher teams were the most popular strategies Challenges: 1. Scheduling, 2. Lack of physical space, 3. Lack of teacher professional development, 4. Lack of core academic teachers and guidance counselors Outcomes: 1.Among 9th graders, promotion to 10th grade increased 2.School violence decreased
    11. 11. Going Small: Scaling down • Small schools/ SLC’s are particularly effective for low income, minority youth • MDRC’s study of 80,000 students in NYC (Bloom, Unterman 2012) • Graduation rates favor going small 67.9 vs. 59.3 %
    12. 12. NAF Academy Development: Standard 2 2.a Students are scheduled as a group – a community of learners; their teachers know them 2.b Core courses are linked with technical content- academics are aligned to the students’ interests 2.c There is a common planning time – teachers collaborate, and plan for theme and relevance 2.d Students receive career themed guidance – ?
    13. 13. Student Strengths, Teacher Benefits Student strengths: • Stronger student accountability • Performance-based assessment • School would be safer Teacher benefits: • Increased teacher satisfaction • Teachers may develop a more personalized program.
    14. 14. Student Strengths, Teacher Benefits Student strengths: • More opportunities to develop socially and academically • Less anonymity Teacher benefits: • Teachers can learn from and be supported by each other. • Teachers are more empowered
    15. 15. Reflections (cont.): 3. Outward Looking – Does your community perceive your school/ academy as student centered? How do you know? 4. Forward Looking – What is one thing you would modify in how you create a personalized environment?...one new idea to become more student centered?
    16. 16. Personalization = Creativity! Placeholder for video:
    17. 17. #NAFNext2014
    18. 18. Steve Brown Academy Development Director, Region 2 sbrown@naf.org 646-341-1817 Dr. Anane Olatunji Align Education LLC aolatunji@AlignEd21.com

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