August 11, 2017

Mastery Communications Week

Sydney Schaef

We are delighted to participate in Mastery Communications Week along with our friends at Great Schools Partnership, Mastery Collaborative, Next Generation Learning Challenges, KnowledgeWorks, Getting Smart, CompetencyWorks, and iNACOL. From August 14-18th, 2017, Masteryweek.org will feature ideas, resources, tools, and best practices to support educators in developing and implementing their mastery education strategies.

 

We come to our thinking about communications through lessons learned about how to share our passion and excitement about mastery learning with families and other stakeholders. We've seen instances in which miscalculations about communication result in community resistance and a strong belief that mastery learning doesn’t work. Ultimately, at reDesign we have come to believe that communications around mastery learning is a potent mixture of grassroots community organizing, storytelling, marketing, and change leadership. For most of us, as educators, these are skills we need to develop, as they are not part of the way we naturally approach our work. Multimedia resources can be incredibly useful in the work, as visual and audio cues often resonate strongly with all of us, in ways that emails, reports, and presentations will not. If you are able to create resources that stand on their own and are accessible to stakeholders on your website, so much the better!

 

For this week, we are happy to be able to share two multi-media resources:

 

The Story of Chugach is a 21-minute podcast featuring Dr. Bob Crumley, Superintendent of the Chugach School District in Alaska. Dr. Crumley shares his change leadership story and insights from over twenty years of helping transform a learning system to competency-based education. How did the Chugach leadership team help bring parents and families along? How did they engage students in the change effort? How did they handle resistance to the change? Listen to learn this and more.

 

 

Changing Jobs, Changing Skills is a set of presentation slides designed to prompt rich discussion with parents, family members, and faculty who are new competency-based learning. We explore such questions as: What are the fastest growing jobs in the US? What skill-sets are most valued by our changing economic landscape? What makes competency-based learning different from traditional school models? What are some concrete ways that parents, families, and community members can be a part of the work of making sure schools adequately prepare today's youth for postsecondary success?


We recently read Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffrey Moore, and if you are looking for a mental model describes the work of navigating the gap (or chasm as he describes it), check it out. It’s a business school classic, written to describe product selling in the high tech market. Despite the radically different context, we found much to learn inside the pages.

"Creativity follows mastery." These are the words of Benjamin Bloom, who believed that learners are capable of incredible things if they have access to powerful learning environments. This is why we’ve chosen the name “Bloom” for our knowledge-sharing initiative. Bloom is all about our stake in helping to build the capacity of practitioners and leaders who work with our most marginalized youth to reimagine, recreate, redesign our models for learning--within schools and beyond. For us, this is fundamentally a matter of social justice. Reach out if you’d like to submit a guest post, or sign up for our monthly newsletter: Bloom@reDesignu.org.

sschaef's picture
Sydney Schaef

Sydney Schaef, M.BA., M.Ed., is an educator, entrepreneur, and school design consultant. She currently works as a Mastery Learning Designer at reDesign and a design consultant for Building 21. She served at the School District of Philadelphia from 2013-2015 in the Office of New School Models, and prior to that, served as Co-founder and Executive Director of a 501c3 nonprofit organization that led innovative education and youth development programs in East Africa. Follow Sydney on Twitter at @sydneyschaef.