We are one of the 29 districts who make up the Maine Cohort for Customized Learning. Together, we are on a journey to implement Customized Learning. Further, Maine statute now requires that, by 2017, students in Maine will graduate based on demonstrated mastery of the State's rigorous content knowledge standards, rather than by course credits (seat time).
When you start changing how you organize school for performance-based learning and recognizing that people learn in different ways and in different time frames, you quickly realize that the center of school shifts from courses to the curriculum and where students are within the curriculum.
How you organize the curriculum becomes critically important.
You need an explicit model of curriculum.
The model we have adopted views the curriculum as 3 overlapping domains – Complex Reasoning, Content Knowledge, and Life-Long Habits of Mind (“Use these reasoning strategies to learn this content knowledge to develop these habits of mind.”).
So this is the first in a series of posts that hopefully will shed light on how Customized Learning districts are using and organizing the curriculum. Future posts will include not just how we're organizing content knowledge, but the Complex Reasoning curriculum, the Life-Long Habits of Mind curriculum, and learning progress management.