Seven Pathways to Lifelong-Learner Competencies
See also: Lifelong-Learner Competencies
Our pathways are two things: Commitments for our professional learning - how will we learn to be contemporary educators - and promises to our students - what kind of educational environment are we building.
Choice and Comfort
It is our responsibility to provide every learner with real learning space
choices based on task-based and physical comfort-based needs, which not only
allow their cognitive energy to be focused on learning but helps students to
develop the contemporary skills needed to alter and use spaces to initiate and
accomplish collaborative and individual work. This includes the availability of
multiple communication tools and contemporary technologies as well as assisting
students in understanding and creating a variety of learning products which
demonstrate student choices in curriculum, task, technologies, and media.
We will all support student learning environments where active,
engaged learners routinely choose from a variety of learning spaces,
collaborative and individual activities, and technology tools, including
their own personal devices. Our environments will create student opportunities
to learn best practices essential to entering contemporary learning and work
environments and which enable students to sustain an open mindset and skillset
in the use of evolving technology tools. These environments, pre-K through 12,
will allow negotiated environmental rules which include and improve student
individual and community decision-making.
Universal Design for Learning/Individualization of Learning
No child within the Albemarle County Public Schools should need a label or prescription in order to access the tools of learning or environments they need. Within the constraints of other laws (in particular, copyright) we will offer alternative
representations of information, multiple tools, and a variety of instructional
strategies to provide access for all learners to acquire lifelong learning
competencies and the knowledge and skills specified in curricular standards. We
will create classroom cultures that fully embrace differentiation of
instruction, student work, and assessment based upon individual learners’ needs
and capabilities. We will apply contemporary learning science to create
accessible entry points for all students in our learning environments; and which
support students in learning how to make technology choices to overcome
disabilities and inabilities, and to leverage preferences and capabilities.
Across our School Division we are committed to student construction of knowledge and skills through the processes of imagining, creating, designing, building, engineering, evaluating and communicating learning. We believe that it is essential that our students learn how to be "Makers" in all phases of their lives, rather than just consumers. We are committed to "Making" as "how we learn," and not as an "extra," and we understand that both "Learning to Make" and "Making to Learn" are essential in every day classroom practice.
All Albemarle County Public School students will have consistent learning opportunities across the curriculum to construct knowledge and understanding through responses to authentic problems; to create projects that demonstrate higher order thinking and knowledge acquisition, and to pursue personal interests by making real choices in project forms and media, even when those choices might lie beyond pre-determined expectations. Students will always be encouraged in the use of differentiated pathways as ways to learn and to demonstrate lifelong learning competencies.
In every classroom, every day, we strive to create open learning environments in which students make individual choices as they use technologies to develop classroom work and assignments, and to provide opportunities for our students to actively make tech-based product investigation and choice as part of their study of curriculum. Our students will, regularly during instructional time, use those contemporary technologies (both school provided and individually owned), and will interact with external experts and students in other communities in order to build learner competencies in the use of the technologies of this century for information access and communication.
We will continuously develop and use activities that engage students in learning networks, including asynchronous and synchronous communication with external experts, access to digital content including primary sources, and interaction with other learners locally and globally who represent a variety of demographically diverse communities. We will, every day, promote and value collaborative projects and knowledge development which represents principles of global and digital literacy and effective communication, and which demonstrates appropriate global, national, community, and digital citizenship.