Summit Learning Experience
At Charette High School
In keeping with our mission, a major goal at Charette is to promote student self-directed learning. In its broadest meaning, the most common definition of self-directed learning describes a process in which “individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in [assessing] their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes” (Knowles, 1975).
Charette High School is thrilled to become a member of the Summit Learning Community with on-going support from New England Basecamp in our effort to accomplish this goal. We have provided valuable links to Summit Learning below for a detailed information, but Summit Learning describes what students, teachers, parents and school leaders will experience in Charette’s self-directed learning model.
Students, the reason for Charette’s being, you are empowered to become self-directed learners—you set goals for you learning, reflect on your progress and build habits and mindsets to help you succeed in college, career and life with mentorship from your teachers. You will participate in learning experiences within the community. As a focus of the school you will participate in activities that focus on urban planning and historical preservation examining your world and designing ways to make it better. In these efforts, you will be supported by your teachers, school leaders, and parents/guardians to achieve your goals. You will
- Take responsibility for when and how you learn content
- Set learning goals and make plans for how to get there
- Display metacognition (awareness of your thinking) of how you learn best
Teachers have the tools they need to customize instruction to meet their unique needs and interests, as well as the time and support to build strong relationships with students. They will
- Teach skills more than content
- Become coaches, mentors, and facilitators rather than just experts
- Learn to let go…to let students go further
Parents may find that a self-directed model to learning is very different from their previous experiences with schooling. They will be encouraged to ask questions, communicate openly with school staff and take a first-hand look at the approach being used at Charette. They will be encouraged to visit and participate actively in school activities. They will
- Learn how self-direction is different from traditional approaches to school
- Communicate with the school what is working and what is not working
- Support their children at home in new ways.
School Leaders recognize the critical importance of self-directed learning as a lifelong strategy of growth. They help the school to stay on course by making needed adjustments in program design, continuously using feedback to support meaningful change and support collaboration and open communication. They
- Create the environment and supports for self-direction
- Don’t panic when challenges arise
- Maintain and drive vision amidst complexity and change
Information taken in part from “Self-Directed Learning at Summit Public School (2014) by Matt Wilma and Jeff Cohen.
For more information, we strongly encourage you to visit these sites!
- This video provides an overview of the Summit Learning Program View Video
- Identifies key components of the Summit Learning. View Website
- View a day in the life of student involved in Summit Learning View Website
- Research document on Self-Directed Learning at Summit Public Schools illustrating the on-going assessment and improvement in program design. View Documents
- This video shows the meaningful learning and support taking place in RI schools involving New England Basecamp. View Video