Jeff King, MUSE School co-founder
What is Blueprints?
It is increasingly accepted that students need to learn skills such as self-awareness, empowerment and motivation. Such skills help learners to develop into stable, confident individuals and increase their chances of success in both education and the workplace. Assessment today still often comes from external exam boards, which can make it difficult for students to practice and enhance these personal skills.
The MUSE School in California is challenging traditional assessment methods. Teachers at the school use student Blueprints as a guide and motivational tool for learning. Blueprints focus on not only academics, but also on goal-setting, self-reflection, passion-based learning, self-efficacy, communication and sustainability. Each Blueprint provides a clear action plan for the student to explore their passions while developing socially, emotionally and academically.
Learners choose passion projects that are woven into their core academics and milestones, making learning more engaging by complementing their needs and interests. MUSE teachers ensure that they support students with diverse academic needs, learning styles and environmental preferences. Each Blueprint is a living biography that comprehensively captures every aspect of a student's learning experience.
Two Blueprints are created and documented each year, followed by parent-teacher conferences. The majority of these conferences are completely student-led. Twice a year, learners present their passions to the rest of the student body, their parents and the faculty, enabling them to develop valuable communication and presentation skills.
Within this model, the MUSE School emphasises the importance of environmental awareness and sustainability, empowering students to have a positive impact on the world around them.
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This assessment approach is holistic. It addresses the entire child through an efficacy-based model. It also focuses on sustainability and how students can have a positive impact on the environment.
Learners are engaged, respected and honoured for their individual personalities. Teachers can support and understand students holistically, while working with them to develop valuable skills.
Blueprints could be used in any school around the world. Minor tweaks may be needed to adapt to specific contexts and curriculums, but this is easily achievable.