Yidan Prize Nomination

Summary for

Framework 2021: A P-20 Vision for Learning in Colorado Project


Key features of the work

The Framework 2021: A P-20 Vision for Learning in Colorado project is a grass-roots effort, being developed by and for teachers. The project addresses the pressing problems of student engagement; development of students’ thinking, problem-solving, and life skills, and lack of alignment of teaching and learning skills across grade levels pre-school through university (P-20). There are four strands to the project: (1) development of a tool (the “Framework”) to guide teachers’ design of student learning experiences, (2) enhancement of teachers’ leadership skills (particularly related to sharing leadership for instructional improvement), (3) dissemination efforts that support understanding and use of the Framework across levels of the education system and in all areas of the state, and (4) provision of a platform that provides rural areas in Colorado with easy access to the Framework and extends access to and use of the Framework across the United States and the globe. 

What the work has achieved

To date, the project has identified seven categories of learning experiences that better engage students, deepen their content knowledge, improve their ability to solve real-world problems in culturally diverse contexts, and develop the “soft skills” (e.g., flexibility, ability to work collaboratively) they will need throughout their lives. The categories include: inquiry-based learning, personalized learning, play-based learning, competency-based learning, design thinking, experiential learning, and connected communities. The team developing the tool (referred to as “the Framework”) has determined a format (a web-based matrix) for presenting information about each of the categories, populated the matrix with information for one of the categories, and participated in two leadership trainings. During 2017 the team will complete the matrix for the remaining categories of learning experiences and begin dissemination efforts to promote use of the Framework.

Outcomes/effectiveness of the work

By aligning the standards, curriculum, and instruction across P-20, the Framework 2021 project optimizes students’ education experiences. It supports efficient and effective allocation of resources and instructional improvement efforts to meet the needs of each learner.

  • ·         Teachers using the Framework increase their understanding and use of instructional approaches that engage, support, and challenge students and shift their instruction from teacher-centered to student-centered.
  • ·         Teachers extend and strengthen their professional learning network within and beyond their own schools and contribute to their own and other teachers’ professional growth.
  • ·         Teachers improve instruction and student learning outcomes by sharing in decision making, collaborating with colleagues to implement and monitor the effectiveness of instructional approaches, and establishing a culture of risk-taking and shared responsibility for student learning.
  • ·         There is a common language for and understanding of the Framework’s categories of learning experiences, which strengthens the relationship between P-12 and higher education and facilitates collaboration among teachers at all levels to achieve positive outcomes for learners.
Students take ownership of their learning. They are active participants, learning from and with their peers and with experts outside the school. They solve real-world problems that have meaning for them and share the results of their work with a variety of audiences.
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