Educational Model Summary
The school’s educational structure is based upon student performance or learning. The Performance-Based/Mastery Learning approach recognizes human characteristics and enables the student to be placed in learning environments according to achievement levels. This approach facilitates matching the student's skills and needs with the academic program. The implications are profound for student attitudes and learning.
The curricular model implemented is a “Performance-Based” approach to education. The content of each academic discipline is divided into specific student expected learning outcomes or “Essential Units.” An “Essential Unit” contains specific concepts or skills. Teachers give instruction and guidance for the essential unit using appropriate materials and activities. When the essential unit has been completed, assessment is carried out to determine student mastery. Records are maintained, documenting individual student progress and credentialing. Objectives, instruction, teaching materials, and evaluations are aligned. The curriculum is reviewed periodically for relevance and validity. All curricula are available for parents to view.
In this research-validated model, each Essential Unit is taught with a view toward excellence. When a student demonstrates mastery of the essential unit, he or she progresses to the next essential unit. If the student does not achieve mastery, the teacher and the student set up a program of re-teaching and re-learning. Additional conferencing and extended practice may be given to demonstrate proficiency at the appropriate level before re-assessment. When students demonstrate mastery, they are rewarded with an “A” or “B”. Thus, a student never “fails” in the traditional sense. Instead, he or she proceeds logically through the curriculum at a pace determined by his or her mastery of the material.
“Success for All” is the motto of all QSI Schools. Personal habits and the ability to interact successfully with others are deemed just as valuable as the knowledge and competencies students learn. Success orientations are actively encouraged in all areas of the school curriculum with the intention to make them a vital part of each student’s life pattern. Evaluations of the success orientations are limited to situations within the jurisdiction of the school and are made by a consensus of the professional staff members. They are grouped under the headings of:
- Group Interaction
- Aesthetic Appreciation
- Kindness and Politeness
- Independent Endeavor