Educational Vision and Program Alignment
Teaching and learning in a post-pandemic era has changed. Schools are taking action to align their vision for the future. How well do your current practices align with your vision for teaching and learning? Fielding International’s team of expert designers and educators can help you take advantage of this catalyst opportunity for a tailor-made package that responds to your community’s needs.
We have worked with schools all over the world to help create and maintain their future alignment processes. At Fielding, inclusiveness of student, family, and community voices is vital in understanding and aligning a Learning Ecosystem: the dynamic cross-section between a school’s vision (what it is aiming to achieve for its students and community), its educational program (how a school functions to achieve that vision), and its social and physical environment (culture and places where the program is delivered) — Architecture and the built environment being only one element of that process.
We offer a spectrum of design services based on the client’s needs. We custom tailor our services depending on where a school or district is at in its alignment journey to strengthen the connection between their visions, practices, and physical environments. The process in which we respond to your specific needs follows a process with the patterns of work described below:
A Snapshot of Your Alignment Journey
The objective of the Discovery Phase is to collect data and observations as well as gather contextual information to understand the current state of the School’s aspirations for a re-imagined future. The phase begins with a kick-off meeting with project stakeholders where we will begin to unpack some of the future goals for the School and set the dials for the work ahead.
The main component of this phase is an immersive site visit by Fielding International educators to complete structured observations of the school experience. The Fielding team will conduct informal interviews with students, teachers, and staff members in order to capture quantitative and qualitative data related to how teaching and learning experiences are delivered and identify misalignments between the aspirations of the School, its leaders, and the actual student experience.
The Fielding team will produce a Discovery Report that serves as the foundational guide that allows all future work to proceed with a common understanding of what currently occurs in school, and what aspirations may exist for change.
Setting the Destination of Your Alignment Journey
Following Discovery, Fielding will work alongside the School to facilitate a process that helps students, staff, and community members re-imagine the learning experience. Two components of this phase include building a shared understanding of the problem and opportunity facing the school and its students (Common Understanding), followed by conceptually “re-designing” the experience by using findings from the shared understanding in the Discovery Report (Design).
Step 1 – Common Understanding
This component includes a series of workshops that leads the “School Design Team” and potentially an expanded group of stakeholders through learning experiences to construct a shared understanding of Teaching, Learning, and Students in the 21st Century and post-COVID. Workshop sessions will help participants review research and literature about the science of learning, the experiences, and aspirations of today’s young people, and contextualize place-based needs in your community. Models or case studies of other innovative school programs will be used to focus conversations around emerging and best practices.
Step 2 – Design
Using this common understanding, the School Design Team will then engage in a series of constructive workshops to synthesize what they’ve learned and observed in schools to create a new vision. Workshops will include identifying how a school’s mission and culture may need to change, exploring new teaching and learning strategies, empowering learners and teachers to have agency and build self-confidence, utilizing partnerships and networks to expand what’s possible, and restructuring time, space, roles, and technology to synchronize school with the future demands of students’ lives.
Change Process and Change Leadership
Navigating your Alignment Journey
After Discovery and Visioning, the third phase of work begins to support the transition into new teaching and learning models that align with future-ready learning environments and an updated vision for learning.
During this phase, Fielding will advance your growth and learning through facilitated planning and implementation meetings, direct individual support, team mentorship, modeling, or other appropriate methods that best align with each school or district’s needs. This phase supports the social, relational, cultural, and psychological dynamics of change as well as tactical and strategic management decisions to provide the systems needed to support long-term sustainable transformations.
Fielding recognizes that all schools strive to maintain a high standard of academic excellence through change and transformations. As your school prepares to invest in new facilities, the opportunity to plan for new instructional methodologies is ideal. Fielding can support and help guide key decisions and processes that will create the conditions to succeed.
This phase is structured to help school leadership and select key educator leaders to imagine and create strategies for developing, testing, improving, and scaling high-quality instructional practices that are aligned with the affordances of future-ready learning environments and the vision for learning.
In addition to the services offered above, we also offer other engagement opportunities and workshops to support schools in their transformation and change processes.
Many schools are looking for creative ways to provide alternative options for families looking for something different, and the formation of a microschool is one way to do that. We can support the development of this as several ed design team members have experience in founding schools.
At any point in the alignment journey, we can conduct environmental scans of your facilities to determine how well aligned they are with your vision, as well as provide high-level recommendations for how to overcome misalignments.