Assessment: Strategies and Competencies
The Philosophy: Beyond Grades
MA's Strategic Plan lays out a charge for teachers to lead and innovate in our pedagogical approaches as we strive to build a more equitable and inclusive community. The Transdisciplinary Leadership Program is a critical element of that effort in terms of the content of its courses, which will require students to develop new skills in the service of designing empathetic solutions to critical problems facing us at local, national, and global levels. Equally as important, though, is the TLP's connection to MA's efforts as a founding member of the Mastery Transcript Consortium, a cohort of over 200 schools looking to replace traditional grades with competency-based transcripts that better reflect the "unique skills, strengths, and interests of each learner." Read more about the Mastery Transcript Consortium here.
During the 2017-2018 school year, our Curriculum Advancement Committee defined the five competencies above to articulate the skills and characteristics we hope to instill in all MA students. Over the next few years, we will be examining what it would mean to transition away from traditional grades, as they neither capture enough information about a student's process as they develop their strengths and define their interests nor seem appropriate to measure progress in work that requires intense personal investment and reflection in the way that transdisciplinary courses will. The slideshows below describe the assessment strategies/types in the transdisciplinary migration course—as well as the way our work connects to MA's five core competencies. You can read more about MA's work to define our core competencies here.
Assessment Strategies and Competency Connections
Mouse over the boxes above—and click through the slideshow below—for more details
All transdisciplinary work—and any work using design principles—must begin with empathy. In order to approach the stories of migrants and refugees with the appropriate compassion, students will need to hone and practice their skills of cross-cultural awareness, and they will need to operate from the principle that all problem analyses and any solutions must engage impacted stakeholders at every phase of the process. To facilitate this growth, students will write in a daily empathy journal to track their own responses to the material and build awareness of their own perspective as they immerse themselves in the stories we will explore.