Summer Camp for Educators

Topics: Education Policy, ESSA

I just got back from summer camp and it was awesome! Well, maybe it wasn’t exactly summer camp, but it was close:  MasteryCon, “the ultimate K-12 event for mastery learning and formative assessment,” boasted mountains, coonskin caps, s’mores, and mastery learning sessions. I couldn’t have asked for more.

With 4 keynote presentations and over 40 information-filled sessions, I learned how teachers are facilitating competency learning in the classroom. I also learned how ESSA is reshaping how school districts support students and just how easy assessment building, sharing and reporting can be with the right supports.

Some insights from MasteryCon that can help you develop tools and strategies for the implementation of a learner-centered classroom:

  1. Growth mindset is the understanding that the process of learning, comprehension and mastery is more important than a letter grade. Educators should focus on the processes of learning and the effort utilized by the student to achieve content understanding. Treating effort as a positive skill breeds perseverance, which ultimately creates optimism and opportunity.
  2. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) help define and create structured behavior that help resolve classroom issues and free the educator to do his or her duties. By involving students in the creation of the SOPs, the educator is generating transparency and buy-in while also giving the students a voice. The gradual release of control creates classroom accountability and accountability leads to high commitment.
  3. Learner voice and choice is at the heart of competency-based education. Learners access, engage and express learning in a myriad of different ways, so why not give students options for learning? Student agency refers to the level of control (pace, subject, approach, environment) a student has in the classroom and competency-based education is the answer to achieving higher student agency while building accountability and supporting mastery for all students.

If you would like a better understanding of what MasteryConnect is and what it can do for you, please check out our recent blog post on education technologies to watch.

Photograph courtesy of Tearra Bobula of Carson City School District.