Proficiency-Based Learning: A Framework for Clarity & Equity

Proficiency-Based Learning: A Framework for Clarity & Equity

August 5, 2019 – August 9, 2019 all-day
FHT Middle School, South Burlington School District
500 Dorset St
South Burlington, VT 05403
$825 w/out credit $1200 includes 3 grad credits from St. Michael’s College

Instructor: Michael Martin, Ed.D.

Dates: August 5 – 9, 2019   Time: 8:00 am – 3:30 pm

Includes the book: Understanding by Design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, 2nd Expanded Edition)


Target Audience: K- 12 Educators

Despite a great deal of innovation and hard work by Vermont educators, the current transition to proficiency-based learning (PBL) has raised a number of important questions about unit design, assessment, and grading. The purpose of this course is to provide structures and strategies that help clarify next steps for teachers and school leaders who are engaged in this work and are responsible for communicating this change to students, families and the wider community. The operating assumption is that proficiency-based learning will improve equitable student outcomes through greater precision, transparency, and relevance thanks to intentionally structured learning activities and assessment. The course will examine the importance of habits of learning, growth mindset, and how feedback practices can either help or hinder future growth. This course will incorporate a variety of resources, including Understanding by Design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2006) as a framework to help teachers create purposeful units driven by authentic assessment and inquiry. Participants will have time to learn through professional dialogue, examine their own assessment strategies, and apply PBL principles to their own work during the course meeting time.

Course participants will learn how to:
● explain the purpose of PBL in simple terms to students, families & community members
● assess transferable skills in concert with content-area proficiencies
● create a hierarchy of standards in order to simplify and clarify unit planning, assessment & reporting
● develop formative assessment strategies that are manageable for teachers

PBLFramework Summer19
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Michael Martin, Ed.D. is the Director of Learning for South Burlington School District and a Senior Associate with the Rowland Foundation. read more
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