Guaranteeing success for all?
Today a new Norwegian Report was launched and it is something I have been looking forward to for a long time. I have great hopes that this will be a school for all students, no matter how far they are in their learning, where we move from a Time-Based to Performance-Based System. The name of the NOU 2019: 25 is “Med rett til å mestre”, a difficult phrase to translate. It is actually quite similar to the “No student left behind”. Every student has the right to succeed and learn in school and school should adjust to meet the students, instead of the other way around. I have just read the report and here are (in my opinion) the high lights:
The committee’s mandate is to consider, among other things
- Whether upper secondary education has a structure and content that facilitates the completion of upper secondary education for everyone
- To see if today’s model for higher education meets the needs of future employment and the community
- Whether today’s model adequately promotes positive learning and motivation
- If there is a need for changes in responsibilities between national authorities, school owners and future employers
Today every child has a right to attend high school for 3 years. The committee’s proposal is to change this to every child has the right to complete high school, That is a huge and important difference.
Students that are not qualified for high school, meaning they lack competencies in certain subjects, will get courses adjusted to their level so that they are able to qualify and move on.
I am particularly happy about the point that is made in chapter 3, “ Final competence, about being qualified and discussing changes in how we organize high school” This is exactly what the keynote speaker at SETT 2019 this year was talking about. Richard DeLorenzo. Even if students are struggling with certain subjects, it doesn’t mean they should be held back. They might even be advanced in certain areas. Schools should be flexible to suit every student. To be qualified for a subject means students benefit from attending the class. Sometimes they need a little help to get there. We need systems that can easily facilitate this. Because this is not an easy task to organize and we need a system that takes care of this.
- The committee finds that today’s secondary education is to a large extent built around the belief that all students have to progress at the same pace at the same time. (A time-based system)
- Not all students are qualified to start high school, but high school is their only option. Therefore schools have to tailor the content to better suit each individual student. It is not acceptable that students are offered courses at a level they can not master. The schools have to make make sure that every student can learn at the level they are regardless. There has to be a necessary flexibility to ensure that students can choose subjects early on. The limit of 3 years for most students should discontinue. Those who need more time can have more time, those who need less time can finish sooner.
- Students with a short time in Norway will be offered courses in Norwegian, English, and Math to help reach the required level of competency.
- Changing how they organize certain subjects in high school with a new curriculum.
- Dividing the school year into two terms that end with exams
- Students know which subjects have exams, ending the suspense each spring for which exams you have to take.
- More online courses offered on a national level
- Grading at half term not compulsory
- Final grades for the course can happen throughout the year making it a lot more flexible than it is today.
To be continued………..