The staff of BNT continually reflects and refines our structures and policies to push all of our students toward college and career readiness. One of the refinements we have made for the 2013-14 school year is to revise our school-wide learning outcomes (SWLOs). We have adopted five outcomes, which are also the five that the New Tech Network is recommending for all new schools. Knowledge & Thinking (Content Literacy) will be worth 50%, Agency 15%, Written Communication 15%, Oral Communication 10%, and Collaboration 10%. The biggest change of these SWLOs is Agency.
If you have been keeping up with our posts and tweets, you have seen that our students have been studying how Agency will be evaluated throughout the year. See the Week in Review posts for pictures of the activities. Agency will be evaluated using the NTN Agency High School Rubric. Overall, this SWLO will focus on how students adopt a “growth mindset” and “take ownership over one’s learning.”
Lydia Dobyns, the NTN President published a blog this week on Huffington Post on why Agency is important for all learners.
“When we think of the skills students need to be successful in school and in life, the word “agency” doesn’t usually pop into mind. But maybe it’s time…
Through the tenets of “agency,” we can help students see effort and practice in a new light and associate both as growth paths and, ultimately, success. We can provide students with the skills to rebound from setbacks and build confidence as they welcome new challenges. Instilling the principles of “agency” helps students find personal relevance in their work and motivates them to participate actively, build relationships and understand how they impact themselves and their communities.
We use “agency” to mean developing an academic mindset and taking ownership over one’s own learning. Carol Dweck defines a growth mindset to mean: “I can grow my intelligence and skills through effort, patience and challenge.” (See Carol Dweck and Paul Tough for research and writing — Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine Books; and Paul Tough (2012) How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.)”
If you have any questions about Agency, please email BNT Director, Scott Wilsey – firstname.lastname@example.org