A vision provides a detailed description of the organization operating at its ideal best. Represented as a statement, the vision contains “pillars” that describe in detail how the organization functions at its ideal best.
GCASD Vision Statement: A BoundarylessEnvironment where learners are Fully Engaged in Holistic Development.
Boundaryless Environment– A term borrowed from General Electric during the Jack Welch era, boundaryless in our context refers to a 24/7 learning environment, where learning can occur anywhere, at any time, synchronously or asynchronously, from experts both locally and globally. A boundaryless learning environment allows academic “fast runners” to move through content at an accelerated pace, allows learners to work collaboratively, both synchronously and asynchronously, and allows them to learn to manage digital information in an environment that has gone from information scarcity to information overload. In a boundaryless environment, the learning is the constant and time is the variable.
Fully Engaged – An environment of full engagement allows the learner to pursue content in areas of interest to her (customized). She has access to content around her specific styles of learning (individualized), and becomes a content creator, rather than a receptacle of information to be recalled for the test. Her understanding is assessed authentically through performance-based assessments.
Holistic Development – To prepare learners for a variety of life roles, we must educate the whole child. Life roles include learner, civic, cultural, economic, and personal, which are represented in the Spheres of Living.
The pillars of the vision help students develop the requisite learner results (outcomes) listed below:
What learners need:
To be able to do – 21st century skills
To be like – Spheres of Living
To know - specific content, drawn from subjects after being derived from
The Pathways– Mass-Customized Learning
Appropriate developmental level– This means moving from a one-size-fits-all system of delivery to one-size-fits-one system of learner discovery. Rather than teachers “covering” content, with some students being ready to move on, some students’ needs being met, and some students needing more time, students engage in individual learning plans designed to meet them at their developmental level.
Focused on student interest– This does not mean, “anything goes.” For example, when reading a novel, lessons designed around student interest might take the form of having students select from a menu of choices, all representing the important themes to be studied, rather than all being made to read the same book. Another example might be allowing learners to study important math concepts by maintaining statistics for a favorite sports team.
Engaged using various learning styles– This allows students to select from a menu of options for engaging with content. For instance, students might choose to read, view a video, form a discussion group, perform an experiment, or do a project to interact with essential content.
Appropriate pace – Individualized learning plans allow learners to move through content at their own pace. The academic “fast runners” can work independently or collaboratively, while learners who need more time will not be forced to “keep up” with the class, thereby missing out on essential components of developmental curricula such as mathematics.