Celebrating Thoughtful Learning Experiences
GROW A SELF-DIRECTED COMMUNITY OF TRUST AND REFLECTION WITH A CAPACITY FOR EXCELLENCE, BOTH INDEPENDENTLY AND COLLABORATIVELY, IN ORDER TO NURTURE OUR MISSION AND VALUES
OUR DRIVING QUESTIONS KEEP US FOCUSED.
What does it look like when standards are met with integrity, depth, and imagination? How can we use standards to open up and enrich curriculum, rather than narrow and constrain it? How can we use student work to raise the level of our understanding of standards and our dialogue about them?
OUR COMMITMENTS SHAPE OUR INTERACTIONS.
Build a culture of trust and reflection through ongoing, iterative curriculum alignment. Invite teachers into the collaborative process for feedback and creation for high quality Discovery Cards to build capacity for excellence. Support assigned grade level/teams on an ongoing weekly basis. Use Discovery Cards as one catalyst for discussions about the relationship between our commitment to meeting demanding standards and approaches to designing powerful learning experiences for our students.
OUR GOALS ILLUMINATE OUR SUCCESS
By the end of May, Discovery Cards will have been curated from every teacher team on the major performance tasks or projects of the year in order to celebrate the work of students and teachers and set next steps for curricular alignment. Provide embedded professional development workshops on the following topics. (School Culture, Socratic Seminar, PBL, Performance Tasks/Assessments) Nurture the mission and vision of SAS by sharing work through exhibitions and publications.
Dr. Theron J. Mott
Middle School Principal
Shanghai American School
The Story of Learning
The story of learning at PXMS has largely remained untold beyond the walls of the classrooms, studios, and playing fields where it has been written. This year the Instructional Coaching team endeavored to uncover those stories and in doing so have created a small portal that has allowed us to peer into this world. What we have begun to discover is a wide array of authentic learning experiences that have sought to infuse student voice and choice as a means of engaging our young adolescent learners.
As we embark on a journey of creating a more cohesive experience for SAS students in their transition from Elementary to Middle to High School, this voyage of discovery has opened our eyes not only to what is, but what can be—potential connections within and between grade levels and disciplines; potential opportunities to deepen the learning experience; potential value beyond the classroom and school walls.
The coming year will bring an increased focus on and level of support for more clearly articulating what it is that we expect our students to learn, how that connects to their prior and future learning, and how we know they have learned it. As seems to be in the DNA of Shanghai American School and the Middle School in particular, we will also continue to push ourselves to provide an educational experience that is rooted in serving the developmental needs of young adolescents by developing and sustaining meaningful relationships and implementing innovative learning strategies in order to achieve the Shanghai American School Mission.
Our Hope for the Future
As you embark on the journey of discovery that follows, think about the underlying learning goals that were met through each student’s experience; think about the problems or questions students grappled with; think about the opportunities that each experience afforded our students to engage in sustained inquiry, critique and revision, and reflection; think about the ways in which each student’s voice and choices shaped their experience; think about the products that they shared with those beyond just their teacher. These elements of quality educational experiences are embedded throughout this book and more importantly throughout our students’ experiences. They are evidence of our commitment to implementing innovative learning strategies as we prepare our students for a world vastly different from the one that our education prepared us for.
My hope for our future students is that the faculty and leaders at Shanghai American School will continue to build upon this foundation as we have built upon the foundation that was laid before us. I hope that when I hear stories of the amazing things that are happening at Shanghai American School, that I will be able to draw a connecting line between those experiences and the experiences that are documented in this collection of discoveries. I hope, as all educators do, that our work is both meaningful and impactful. I believe it is, and I thank each member of the Shanghai American School faculty and staff for their contributions day in and day out to what is an amazing educational experience for each and every one of our students.