EPIC and the Center for Innovation in Education (CIE) are working to support educators as they integrate essential skills and dispositions into practice. Developmental frameworks for each of four Essential Skills and Dispositions—collaboration, communication, creativity, and self-direction—were created to facilitate a shared understanding of how these skills develop and to inform the environments and opportunities students need for success. Researchers at EPIC identified components for each skill based on a synthesis of research and theory. These skill components are set along a novice-to-expert progression, modified for the school context. Drawing on the expertise of CIE and teacher-leaders, the resulting frameworks reflect five key design features:
- Format of developmental progressions, not static standards of practice
- Four levels of very active learning across many years, not task-specific rubrics describing levels of deficient-to-proficient performances
- Components of a whole skill, not discrete categories of potential expression; inter- and intrapersonal dimensions of each component
- A “metacognitive sandwich” starting with Self-Awareness and ending with Monitoring and Adapting.
Following the development of the frameworks, CIE and EPIC engaged educators at the forefront of embedding these skills into practice. Each design event provided insights into the types of support and opportunities that educators are looking for to enhance their practice.
The CIE Skills and Dispositions Frameworks and the design approach that led to their development are currently being applied to other projects focused on enriching learning opportunities to enhance essential skills.