Essential Skills and Dispositions: Developmental Frameworks for Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Self-Direction

This set of developmental frameworks was created to facilitate discussion within communities of practice and to enhance a shared understanding of the dynamic nature of four essential skills—collaboration, communication, creativity, and self-direction in learning. The frameworks define components inherent to each skill and describe performance across a beginner to emerging expert progression, informed by research…

Girl with beakers

Epic Steps Issue 2 – October 2015

T-2-4 and the Four Keys Spokane Public Schools (SPS), the second-largest district in the State of Washington, is committed to making sure that all doors are open to their students after they graduate from high school. To achieve this, SPS has implemented a districtwide campaign called T-2-4 focused on preparing students to successfully complete some…

Charting the Waters: Interpreting the Maine Guiding Principles Into Practice

Among my sources of inspiration are talented and insightful educators who are committed to setting up students for success – educators like those my colleague Ross Anderson and I had the opportunity to collaborate with in a recent trip to Maine. Working with the Maine Department of Education, EPIC created draft developmental frameworks for the…

Global Citizenship: A Study in Progress

Last month, I traveled to Barcelona, Spain, to conduct a unique, mixed-methods study of metacognitive skills at the International Baccalaureate (IB) World Student Conference. I surveyed global citizenship levels among IB Diploma Programme students from 19 nations who attended the weeklong, project-based learning experience. I conducted two diverse focus groups: one with students representing eight…

How Poverty Affects Classroom Engagement

Eric Jensen highlights seven issues that disproportionately affect students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in the classroom. Jensen outlines each of these issues and provides ways for students to address them. He reminds educators that poor students are still students and that teachers can support students in overcoming the obstacles they face. The common differences between…

Andreas Schleicher – Use Data to Build Better Schools

Andreas Schleicher gives a TEDTalk on using global data to evaluate factors that can improve school systems and support equity in education. Questions How does your school communicate expectations and promote achievement? How can your school improve in these areas? How does your school offer opportunities to students? What kind of useful skills does/could your…

Leadership for Equity

Authors Rhonda Barton and Rob Larson stress the importance of quality leadership in achieving educational equity. They listed these strategies leaders can use to enhance equity in the realms of curriculum interpretation, instructional practices, assessment and evaluation, and community involvement: Curriculum Interpretation Encourage staff members to talk about issues of diversity, values, and social justice.…

Another Inconvenient Truth: Race and Ethnicity Matter

University professors and researchers Willis Hawley and Sonia Nieto breakdown issues and misconceptions that some educators have about dealing with issues of race and ethnicity in the classroom. They offer three race- and ethnicity-conscious strategies for school improvement, centered around understanding the diverse backgrounds of all students in the classroom. Hawley and Nieto conclude by…

High Expectations for All

Robert J. Marzano quickly and succinctly addresses the differentiated treatment that stems from inherent biases and suggests ways that teachers can overcome them. He outlines a four step procedure: Identify students for whom you have low expectations. Identify similarities in students. Identify differential treatment of low-expectancy students. Treat low-expectancy and high-expectancy students the same. Author: Robert…