Friday, October 3, 2014

Graduate Profile

I think one of the most important and timely pieces of work we are doing in our school district is creating a graduate profile.  A graduate profile is a description of the personal and academic qualities and skills that are necessary in order to receive a diploma when each and every student completes our
educational system.

We are in the beginning stages of the work, and our goal is to make sure all of us including parents and community readily understand what we expect everyone of our graduates to be able to know and do.  Yes, we currently have graduate standards tied to coursework and passing relevant exams.  

However, we are taking this process steps further by defining specific skills and qualities tied to 21st Century Learning Skills (For example, the five C's which include Citizenship, Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity) and then ensuring these skills are taught, measured and developed in every grade level.  

The main purpose for creating such a profile is to make sure students are prepared for college and career.  This is purposeful work, and our teaching, learning and testing has to be tied and aligned to 21st Century Learning readiness in post high school education and career.

In creating the graduate profile, we ask the following questions:
  1. What are the explicit qualities and skills we want every graduate to be able to have and  demonstrate?
  2. Are these qualities and skills easy to read and interpret by all of us including students, parents, employees and community?
  3. Will we be able to teach and articulate these through every grade level?
  4. Are they measurable, and will it be obvious throughout the system if students are on task?
A simple point needs to be made in noting how essential it is for our students and staff to have 21st Century learning tools available in order for all of us to pull this off!

This will be exciting work, and there will be much discussion and communication about our progress in the months to come.

The graphic below provides a visual illustration of the foundation of a graduate profile: