Key Components of the QSI Educational Model – DO, KNOW, BELIEVE
Outcomes – There are four hierarchical levels of Outcomes: Exit Outcomes, Program Outcomes, Course Outcomes, and Unit Outcomes (These are a bit like babushka dolls all nested within each other.)
I. Exit Outcomes - The starting point is to imagine our definition of a model graduate. What would this person need to be able to do, know, and be like as a person? This leads to dividing the Exit Outcomes into three parts: 1) Competencies (Do), 2) Knowledge (Know), and 3) Success Orientations (Be or Believe). a. Competencies – Verbal & Written Communication Skills; Numeracy & Mathematical Skills; Psychomotor Skills; Commercial Skills; Fine Arts Skills; Thinking & Problem Solving Skills; Decision Making & Judgement Skills. b. Knowledge Categories – English/Literature, Mathematics, Cultural Studies, Science, Languages other than English, Creative & Applied Arts, and Personal Health & World Environmental Issues. c. Success Orientations – Trustworthiness, Responsibility, Concern for Others, Kindness/Politeness, Group Interaction, Aesthetic Appreciation, and Independent Endeavor. QSI particularly stresses the ‘Success Orientations’. SOs are an integral part of every aspect of the school and are inherent in the ‘Program Outcomes’.
II. Program Outcomes - These are derived from the Exit Outcomes. They outline the school's curriculum in each of the seven ‘Competencies’ and ‘Knowledge’ categories. Each course, such as Algebra, British Literature, or 5 Year Old Music, is identified in one of the seven ‘Program Outcomes’.
III. Course Outcomes - These are derived from the ‘Program Outcomes’. They give a more detailed description of each course and include information on learning objectives, materials, and resources available for the course. There are essential units, which must be taught and assessed, as well as selective units from which the teacher and students may choose. The average course is designed to lead to the mastery of 10 units.
IV. Unit Outcomes - A unit consist of a general statement and a number of ‘Unit Outcomes’, or TSWs (which stands for The Student Will…) which are clearly defined and measurable learning objectives. The number of ‘Unit Outcomes’ (TSWs) may vary. The average unit requires 12 to 18 class periods to attain mastery in ALL ‘Unit Outcomes’ (TSWs). Teachers and students use rubrics to identify what knowledge and skills must be demonstrated in order to receive an A or a B for each ‘Unit Outcome’ (TSW). Mastery may be determined using formative and/or summative assessments such as oral evaluations, paper/pencil tests, assignments, projects, performances, or other appropriate means of determining student success.
The following tenets are crucial to the QSI Educational Model:
Alignment - The teacher teaches; the materials support; and assessments reflect the objectives of the ‘Unit Outcomes’ (TSWs). In other words teachers teach what they test, and test what they teach. To do otherwise is unethical. We want Mastery Learning, not Mystery Learning.
Expanded Opportunities - Students differ in time needed to attain mastery on a ‘Unit Outcome’ (TSW). A variety of ways are employed to allow each student the appropriate learning time. Those who need less time to demonstrate mastery engage in selective outcomes and may receive additional credit.
Credentialing – Our reporting systems aligns with the philosophy of mastery learning and reflects the overall structure of the four outcome levels. Mastery of each unit is evaluated at the time of completion with an 'A', 'B' (mastery grades), or ‘P’, which stands for ‘in progress’ and means that the student has not yet demonstrated mastery. Mediocre or poor work is not accepted. If a student has mastered a unit with a 'B', s/he is given the opportunity to earn an ‘A’ though work that demonstrates higher order thinking skills. This can happen immediately or later in the school year. This approach encourages continued learning. Data is gathered and reported on a regular basis allowing 'Status Reports' to be produced at any time. A time period (quarter, term, semester) is not evaluated