In an effort to further personalize learning for FWSU teachers this year, in addition to the FWSU Professional Learning Institutes, teachers were offered an opportunity to extend and deepen their professional knowledge and skills through a graduate-level independent study.

The FWSU Deeper Learning Institute is an action research model for professional learning which uses the Plan-Do-Study-Act Model. Teachers design and execute their plan to address one or more areas of professional practice in teaching and learning, incorporating one or more of the 4 Targets of the FWSU Action Plan: Proficiency-based Personalized Learning, Leadership, Flexible Learning Environments, Engaged Community Partners.

To accomplish their goals, participants in the Deeper Learning Institute create and implement a Personal Learning Plan and both develop and use Professional Learning Targets and Scales to help themselves deepen their own learning of 21st century pedagogy that also results in Deeper Learning competencies for students in the areas of content knowledge, transferable skills, and growth mindset. These competencies will help our students reach new understandings and growing levels of proficiency.

Participants are required to target one or more of these areas of Deeper Learning in Professional Practice in their learning plan:

  • Curating Learning: How do I build a big picture perspective of the goals and outcomes of proficiency-based learning along with the personal skills and interests of my students into my planning process?
  • Launching Learning: How can I construct lessons and learning opportunities that invite students into the learning process and maximize their success in a proficiency-based learning system?
  • Consolidating and Transferring Learning: How can I use a variety of strategies and tools that will ensure all students can consolidate and transfer important learning in meaningful and personal ways?
  • Assessing Learning: What kind of assessment strategies can be used to enhance learning impact, close the gap between teaching and learning, and provide reliable evidence of proficiency?
  • Personalizing Learning: What kinds of designs help to make learning personal and how does that impact instruction that must be designed to meet the needs of all students in progress toward proficiency?
  • Supporting Learning: How do I create strong, caring, and trusting relationships with students to facilitate and personalize learning, and ensure that all students get the instruction and intervention they need to make continuous progress toward proficiency?
  • Leading Learning: How can I participate fully in my school and contribute to a culture of practice and engagement in quality, proficiency-based learning systems?

In May 2017, the participants will attend a culminating event with their peers and invited guests to present their findings along with a plan to standardize their actions and impact larger-scale school improvement.

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