FPS Theory of Action

Purpose Driven Learning

IF teaching and learning is designed to foster intellectual curiosity and to produce meaningful work that has purpose and significance to the learner THEN students will develop an ethic of excellence and experience the joy of contributing to a greater good.

(FTL: Meaningful Knowledge, Purposeful Engagement)

We will…

  • Increase opportunities for students to create authentic, high quality work for real audiences
  • Engage students in emulating the work of practicing professionals through fieldwork and hands-on learning beyond the classroom
  • Find ways in which students of all ages can contribute to the betterment of society as problem finders and problem solvers
  • Spark curiosity with compelling facts, images, stories, artifacts, mysteries, and phenomena
  • Instill the habits of craftsmanship and high quality work through models and exemplars
  • Use technology tools to gain access to experts, critics, and audiences

Our Students are Contributors

Sources of Evidence:

  • Do all students speak with a sense of pride and accomplishment when talking about their work and its impact on others?
  • Do students see themselves in the curriculum and does the curriculum promote the importance of cross-cultural understanding?
  • Are classrooms and other learning spaces filled with student work, both in progress and final products that show evidence of student choice and high quality standards?
  • Are parents and community members actively involved in listening to students talk about their learning?
  • Can students demonstrate the importance of revision and refinement as they work through the multiple drafts and iterations of ideas?
  • Can students describe their learning process and why it has meaning and value to them as individuals?

Mastery Based Learning

IF curriculum and assessment is organized around essential learning targets, varied ways of demonstrating mastery, and flexible pacing THEN all students will meet or exceed academic standards, develop a growth mindset, and pursue independent areas of interest or study.

(FTL: Challenging Expectations)

We will…

  • Define and articulate essential learning targets by grade or course and by unit of study
  • Develop multiple and varied ways for students to demonstrate mastery
  • Engage students in self-assessment practices that promote a learning orientation and a growth mindset
  • Develop systems of challenge and support to allow for flexible pacing and personalized pathways
  • Use technology tools to support differentiation of content or process of learning
  • Challenge all students to reach beyond their grasp and discover their own personal best

Our Students are Scholars

Sources of Evidence:

  • Are achievement gaps shrinking?
  • Is performance on all measures of academic success improving?
  • Are we using data-wise protocols to uncover and investigate systemic inequities?
  • Are students able to accurately and specifically talk about their own progress toward meeting standards using evidence?
  • Can students describe strategies they use to overcome difficulties in the learning process?
  • Are more students accessing rigorous courses and finding success?
  • Is technology supporting interest-driven learning through online courses, independent study, credentialing, and other forms of self-directed study?
  • Are we using time flexibly to support the fact that students learn at different rates and in different ways?

Socially Constructed Learning

IF classroom communities value diverse perspectives and regularly engage with local and global experts, mentors, and peers in the context of inquiry, discovery, and exploration THEN all students will feel a sense of belonging and develop empathy, cultural competency, and the teamwork skills necessary for active citizenship.

(FTL: Active Learning Community)

We will…

  • Engage students in collaborative problem solving and design thinking using norms to heighten productivity and successful interdependence
  • Leverage the power of dialogue and debate to sharpen critical thinking and to develop empathy for others different from ourselves
  • Develop a safe learning environment in which all students are encouraged to voice their ideas, opinions, and beliefs
  • Use technology tools to make connections with the greater world and discover new perspectives and points of view
  • Develop students as critical consumers of information

Our Students are Citizens

Sources of evidence:

  • Can students ask important questions and follow a line of inquiry when interviewing someone or participating in a group?
  • Are students sharing work publicly, seeking constructive feedback?
  • Are all voices heard in classroom discussions?
  • Do we see students developing confidence in public speaking settings?
  • Can students describe and enact norms for effective collaboration?
  • Do assignments demand that students seek multiple perspectives and sources of information before drawing conclusions?
  • Are students reading texts that represent multi-cultural points of view?

Self-Directed Learning

IF a school’s culture and climate values academic risk-taking, reflection, persistence, and resilience THEN students will become increasingly independent and inspired to direct their own personal and collective learning.

(FTL: Individual Responsibility)

We will…

  • Provide regular opportunities for students to make choices about what and how they want to learn
  • Reflect on and celebrate the many different strategies students use to “learn how to learn” more effectively
  • Use storytelling and role models to encourage persistence and resilience as critical attributes of successful people
  • Teach students how to give and receive critique or feedback in a way that inspires deeper learning
  • Use models and exemplars to help students know what good work looks like
  • Leverage technology tools to personalize learning and monitor achievement

Our Students are Pioneers

Sources of evidence:

  • Are students using learning targets to self-assess and monitor their own progress?
  • Do students describe errors as opportunities to learn and do they feel comfortable making multiple attempts to be successful?
  • Can students independently employ a range of strategies when first attempts to learn are unsuccessful?
  • Can students talk about their interests - things they want to learn more about? Are they pursuing their own goals?
  • Do students have role models who inspire them to aim high and persist in accomplishing their goals?
  • Does the curriculum expect students to transfer knowledge to novel contexts or to use knowledge to invent/design new ways of addressing persistent problems or challenges?

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