Student Engagement Academic Achievement Character Development

Student Success

Student Success has a wide range of interpretations, however, there are common elements that can be found in most educational jurisdictions through the world. Consistently we find common understandings that student success includes academic achievement, character development, employability, and civic engagement.

While these outcomes are readily understood, the variables and processes that lead to positive outcomes are more difficult to define. Advocacy for educating the whole child has increased over the past decade, however there has been little progress toward deeper understandings about the connections between student engagement, student health and safety, learning styles/multiple intelligences, and program pathways that lead to appropriate post secondary opportunities. The primary focus has been on improving academic achievement which has resulted in greater emphasis on formative (system) assessments in an effort to benchmark progress and more frequently track student progress in targeted areas such as Literacy and Numeracy.

While standardized tests and system assessments provide critical information and evidence of progress, there is a looming threshold that represents a barrier to improving student achievement that goes beyond teaching to the test. Schools and districts are at various stages of reaching this threshold but ultimately all districts will face the critical issue of how standardized tests and system assessments alone do not inform improvements in instructional practice.

Highly effective education systems of the 21st Century are going deeper to clearly understand how Management, Relationships, and Impact of school organization and classroom practice are related to student engagement and academic achievement. Schools and districts are at various stages of working through the necessary paradigm shift to construct meaning and gain deeper understandings about what students will need to successfully navigate their pathway in a globalized economy.

EMS (Effectiveness Monitoring System) is a revolutionary approach to school improvement monitoring that will fundamentally transform how we approach teaching and learning, effectively monitor progress, and measure impact. See Foundations in Teaching and Learning for more details about EMS.

Foundations in Teaching and Learning

Perhaps the greatest paradigm shift facing educators lies in the realm of teaching and learning. Current pedagogy requires design that will prepare students for adulthood in a world very different than today. While certain attributes in character are enduring over time, the intellectual skills and knowledge base require twenty years from now are less predictable. Our current challenge is to understand more clearly the enduring skills and assets students will need to pursue post-secondary opportunities and become productive employees and community minded adults.

This new paradigm comes with new challenges in discovering deeper understandings of the realm of possibilities for student learning, the professional development needed to support shifts in instructional practice, and deployment of district resources to promote effective implementation.

It becomes critical for educators to think about the balance between content knowledge that students will need relative to process thinking for acting on such knowledge. The EMS (Effectivenss Monitoring System) provides:

  • a road map for transitioning to Foundations in Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century
  • training of system administrators, system consultants, school administrators, school improvement teams, and school staff
  • deep alignment of district review team efforts and school level improvement efforts
  • a focus for professional conversations that promote a culture of professional learning and continuous renewal
  • targeted professional development needs that maximize school and district resources
  • a process for schools and districts to monitor progress on a monthly and annual basis
  • instant reporting of data collection in a meaningful format that connects directly to instructional practice for informed decision making
  • advanced reporting for on-going monitoring of progress on school improvement plans based on target setting, established goals/benchmarks, system assessment results, and standardized test scores
  • integration of multiple data sources, including existing disparate data sources, into one system for utilization and reporting