What are the right schools of experience for teachers in new schools?

Source: Innosight Institute, Oct 2012

The school is pushing the bounds of blended learning with a Flex model that is competency-based. Students move on when they have mastered the appropriate standards and skills, have individualized learning plans, and, along with their parents, receive daily progress reports based on how they are doing. The role of the teacher in this new school looks very different from that in a standard school.

Many parts of the schooling model are also still evolving as the school learns what does and does not work. Uncertainty exists, and teachers are both teaching amidst the uncertainty and helping to create and refine the school model itself on the fly. Because new innovations rarely emerge fully baked and launch with perfect success, this is both natural and good.

Morgan McCall, a professor at the University of Southern California, developed a different view that moves beyond the skills correlated with success to a circumstance-based theory. His model asks whether someone has actually wrestled with a problem similar to the one she will need to wrestle with in the new job. In essence, it looks to see if potential employees have taken different “courses” in their “schools of experience” that will prepare them to tackle and succeed in the new job.

Through the lens of McCall’s theory, the job when hiring shifts from identifying candidates with stellar resumes to asking whether the potential employees have had the right experiences that prepare them to be successful in the job.


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