ST1.3 Students are empowered to personalize and self-direct their STEM learning experiences supported by STEM educators who facilitate their learning.
What were the areas of strength noted in the Self Assessment?
At Academy of Greatness and Excellence, the goal is to foster greater student responsibility and accountability. Accordingly, all students receive opportunities to personalize and self- direct their STEM learning experiences. As early as the Early Childhood grades, students are given the time and the freedom to select activities of interest.
In the elementary grades, the curriculum, being aligned to the Common Core Curriculum Standards, allows for self-directed learning. For example, the Mathematics curriculum, Everyday Math, implements the spiral philosophy of instruction, allowing students to master skills at their own pace.
What actions are being implemented to sustain the areas of strength?
In order to solidify the concept of self-directed learning at AGE, extracurricular activities such as the Science Fair, Science Olympiad and Math Olympiad are integral means to empowering students to personalize their learning experiences. Discussions about science fair projects start in grade 3 and include students in all grades up to 8th grade. Students are allowed the freedom of topic and partner selection and are encouraged to use the scientific process.
Conversations at staff and interdisciplinary meetings often revolve around developing a stronger sense of student independence, where students are able to demonstrate persistence when problem solving and reflect on their own learning.
What were areas in need of improvement?
STEM educators frequently serve as facilitators who provide guidance and support for students as self-directed learners. However, STEM educators are in need of more professional learning opportunities that may provide them with more effective strategies to empower self-directed learning and overcome any behavioral obstacles they may face.
What plans are being made to improve the areas of need?
More professional development and workshops on the New Generation Science Standards is the plan to build up a bank of strategies and ideas for implementation in the classrooms.