Is Your Mission Actionable? And Can You Prove It to Parents? | Charles Fadel | 2 Min Read

October 21, 2022

For independent schools, mission is the differentiator. As all schools try their hardest to create competitive academic programs which position students to excel, the mission serves as a unique expression of a school’s value proposition and culture. But can you directly identify where your mission emerges in classroom learning experiences? 

School mission statements tend to feature Competencies like creativity, courage, leadership, or a growth mindset. Though portraits of a graduate and mission and vision statements often feature such Competencies (sometimes referred to as “21st-century skills” or social-emotional learning (“SEL”)), schools and teachers can find it challenging to point specifically to where the learning of these crucial pieces of a modern education happens. Though they receive a lot of lip service, Competencies are often haphazardly taught and not evaluated, unlike content such as math, writing, and science.  At the Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR), our goal is to make learning competencies deliberate, systematic, comprehensive, and demonstrable.

CCR conducted an intensive research effort to help schools and teachers identify which of the twelve competencies featured in a 4-Dimensional Education are the best fit for each discipline. With a clear focus on just a few “core competencies,” a classroom then doesn’t have to focus on all twelve—that would be overwhelming! Instead, it can focus on the best fits that directly integrate with the curricular content. After all, what is math without critical thinking, a science experiment without curiosity, or writing without an emphasis on clear communication? By synthesizing the deep body of research literature and a study that included the input of over 70 National State Teacher of the Year Award winners, the CCR team identified which Competencies have the best synergy with each discipline, as highlighted in this published report.

Utilizing this research, the Center for Curriculum Redesign collaborates with partner schools in a well-coordinated effort to infuse competencies across disciplines and grade levels, delivering on mission to students and parents. With support in strategic planning, developing scopes and sequences, and teacher coaching to develop Competency role models, a school can execute its vision, and demonstrate it to parents. Our school partners have found that when teachers focus on a few core competencies that are the best fit for their discipline, they are able to more effectively integrate the competencies into their curriculum. As a result, students can better develop these necessary pieces of a modern education. 

If you are interested in learning more, complete this interest form. For more information on how a 4-Dimensional Education can enrich your schools, reach out directly to robert.taylor@curriculumredesign.org.

Charles Fadel

Charles Fadel is a global education thought leader and futurist, author and inventor, with several active affiliations. His work spans the continuum of Schools, Higher Education, and Workforce Development/Lifelong Learning. He is the founder and chairman of the Center for Curriculum Redesign (Boston, Massachusetts), focused on “Making Education More Relevant” and answering the question: “What should students learn for the 21st century? In an age of Artificial Intelligence.” He is Project Director at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in the Laboratory for the Science of the Individual, exploring “Machine Learning + Human Learning”. He serves as Chair of the Education Committee of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), nominated by the U.S. Chamber of International Business (USCIB). He works with several teams at the OECD – Education 2030, PISA, and CERI most notably. He is a senior fellow, human capital at The Conference Board, and a board member at the USCF. Through his 25-year high-tech career, he has witnessed firsthand the disruptive effects of exponential change, which gives him a unique perspective he brings to the world of Education.

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