A focused attention on vision, culture and transparency is essential to effectively scaling personalized learning approaches like competency-based education. Those themes get brought up again and again as we’ve interviewed teachers and school leaders, spoken with superintendents and district leaders and worked with districts and schools to personalize learning for their students.
Jesse Moyer, the Senior Director of School Development at KnowledgeWorks, recently spoke with Bill Zima, Superintendent for Regional School Unit 2 (RSU-2) in Hallowell, Maine, about how these themes are important in his district, which uses competency-based education. Here are some highlights from what Zima said during that conversation.
- Vision: “Vision isn’t something you put up on a plaque,” said Zima. “It really needs to be revisited and thought about and talked about. Is what we’re doing aligned to our vision? If not, do we need to readjust the how or why to make sure everything is aligned?”
- Culture: “Culture is not part of the game–it is the game,” said Zima. “Everything that happens throughout the district is either a result of or impact of the culture.”
- Transparency: “Transparency focuses on ensuring all kids, parents and teachers know what the learning expectations are, where students have been, where they are now and where they need to go,” said Zima. “In classrooms throughout our district, there are curriculum charts and student binders so learners can easily track their progress.”