• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The authors participated in a bold, statewide school improvement initiative that re-examined the role of a critical variable in twentieth century educationùtime. Progressive educational policy changes in New Hampshire have put into motion the most dynamic approach to the delivery of education of any state in America. This statewide effort to create a system of personalizedstomized learning cannot properly function in the 20th century model of teaching and learning where time is the constant and achievement is the variable. The steps that New Hampshire has taken will provide the foundation for a new delivery model where time is the variable and achievement is the constant. The New Hampshire vision is built on the assumption that students can learn through a variety of experiencesùtraditional classroom instruction being but one mode of delivery. Out-of-classroom Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO's) provide alternatives to classroom instruction. These can include internships, private instruction, on-line learning and other forms of independent study. But, at the core of this vision, is the idea that student achievement (and, by extension, teacher effectiveness) should be measured in terms of mastering competencies, rather than the traditional measure of ‘seat time.’ Although competency-based models have been attempted, the New Hampshire story is unique in that it offers a unique case of large-scale implementation. Bramante and Colby offer the reader the ability to understand a new context for the reinvention of education and how these challenges affect all levels and aspects of our system of public education. Education professionalsùfrom classroom teachers to policy makersùhave much to learn from the lesson of New Hampshire.

Time Versus Mastery
Time versus mastery

Every educator knows and accepts that students have different learning styles and learn at different paces. So what is the logic of a time-based system in which students are required to show up at school buildings for fixed periods? Similarly, why should cohorts of students move forward by time-based grade levels? These time-based concepts are the steel in the framework of our educational systems. Yet the authors have concluded that rather than holding up the institution, they are causing it to fail. America needs a new model of public education.

Time

The primary constant in America's system of public education is time. Generally speaking, it's 180 days; from August/September into May/June; from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.; first, second, third, and fourth ...

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