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Saturday, September 21, 2013


The school I currently serve is Guthrie Common School District (a rural school in west Texas).

For the last five years we have engaged in a process of embedded professional development in which we take three instructional days each year and deploy school "family learning" with teachers and students at the same time.

Our focus the last two years has been on the Guthrie Graduate Profile, a locally developed set of standards which we purposefully teach to our students.  (By the way, we have a proven track record of successfully teaching the academic content.  In teaching the Guthrie Graduate Profile we have tasked ourselves with going above and beyond the teaching of only academic content).

Guthrie Graduate Profile
We intend for and teach to our students becoming better in these five dimensions:

  • Learners/Problem Solvers/Critical Thinkers
  • Effective Communicators
  • Persons of Strong Character
  • Productive and Valuable Team Members
  • Compassionate and Responsible Citizens
The graduate profile extends upon the traditional "what students should know and be able to do" mindset,  pushing that learning to dimensions of "ways of thinking and ways of behaving."

Yesterday was one of those "family learning" days in which we suspended our usual busyness and focused for the whole day on understanding more deeply the dimensions of the graduate profile, how it will serve each of us (students and teachers alike) in getting better personally, and how better to cause learning along those dimensions.

That "family learning" takes place across grades levels.  Learning tasks and learning leadership and learning ownership are framed as both an individual and collective responsibility in this process.

Key to this process is students (especially the older students) playing a leading role in advancing the learning of others. 

While Guthrie CSD is a magical place, these ideas/aspirations/intentions/deployments can be used in any school on the planet in the interest of ............................... 

(well, just look at the five Guthrie Graduate Profile dimensions above).

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