TeacherLists Blog

New Emerging School Models: What are they and how do they work?


Schools across the country are changing how they do things. They’re taking more holistic, personalized, and community-based approaches that we have never seen before. This is largely thanks to the growth of The Innovative Models Exchange.


Our teacher on staff, Mary Angelo, has experience with The Innovative Models Exchange (IME), a website where districts can upload their new school models for other districts to adopt and adjust to their own schools. Her school used the Ideal Learning Experience model, which focused on learning over compliance, emphasized the importance of being a lifelong learner, and giving students a growth mindset.


While the exact model is lengthy and complex, it can be summarized by its commitment to helping students develop lifelong learning patterns instead of being stuck in the motions of memorizing topics to pass a test. Part of this includes untraditional grading: instead of doing the A,B,C,D,F model, students are assessed based on their progress. Students also engage in projects that demonstrate real-life examples of the concepts they’re learning.


Here’s its mission statement: “Educational inequities persist, much of what we know about how individuals learn best is not honored, and far too many students are unprepared for our complex, global society… The Innovative Models Exchange is a free platform where you can search for and share compelling programs that fundamentally reshape the educational experience.”


It may sound confusing, or you may not be convinced that this is what your district needs yet.

Here’s how to get the ball rolling:


The first step is to ask yourself, what is the end goal? What outcomes are you looking for? IME has a plethora of options, from Cognitive Thinking Skills, Academic Knowledge & Skills, to Positive Mindsets. You can customize your search by ticking the boxes next to each outcome.


Next, think about the structure of what you’re looking for. Looking for more project-based learning? Or maybe you want to shift the focus to social-emotional learning. Like the outcomes, check the boxes that apply.


From there, it gets more specific. From grade levels to leaps, this search feature is designed to help you find the right school model for you and customize it to your needs.


But what if I’m not sure what I need yet?


There are a number of options for you.


You can browse all the models, explore collections, or take a quiz to let the website do the heavy lifting for you. These are perfect if you’re still thinking about trying something new, but you’re not sure what you’re looking for.


Don’t forget, the end goal of this endeavor is to ensure your students get the best education possible. Keep your students’ growth and education at the core of every decision, and you can’t go wrong!

Originally posted 2022

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