In the U.S., one student drops out of school every 12 seconds.
That's a lot of students so far this school year.

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Schools Innovation Influence

Learning Goals

Big Picture Learning holds very high standards for our students. We have designed our educational program from the end-goal backwards – meaning, we have a clear vision of our graduates’ skills, knowledge, and personal qualities that will help lead them to success and fulfillment. However, we also know that to truly educate one student at a time, our goals for student learning must be flexible enough to accommodate the diversity of student needs and personal aspirations. Our assessment system is based around two sets of goals – five school-wide Learning Goals and each student’s own personal goals. Woven throughout all of the goals is the belief that learning should be authentic and meaningful, as well as a commitment that each student should become a life-long learner.

Big Picture Learning Goals are tools for problem solving and offer a framework for looking at the real-world knowledge and abilities necessary to being a successful, well-rounded person. They are not content-oriented curricula, nor are they completely distinct categories. Each goal focuses on an aspect of reasoning or community behavior. Students’ learning and project work will often incorporate many overlapping elements of the Learning Goals.

Communication: “How do I take in and express ideas?”

This goal is to be a great communicator: to understand your audience, to write, to read, to speak and listen well, to use technology and artistic expression to communicate, and to be exposed to another language.

Questions used to develop a student’s project:


Empirical Reasoning: “How do I prove it?”

This goal is to think like a scientist: to use empirical evidence and a logical process to make decisions and to evaluate hypotheses. It does not reflect specific science content material, but instead can incorporate ideas from physics to sociology to art theory.

Questions used to develop a student’s project:


Personal Qualities: “What do I bring to this process?”

This goal is to be the best you can be: to demonstrate respect, responsibility, organization, leadership, and to reflect on your abilities and strive for improvement.

Questions used to develop a student’s project:


Quantitative Reasoning: “How do I measure, compare or represent it?”

This goal is to think like a mathematician: to understand numbers, to analyze uncertainty, to comprehend the properties of shapes, and to study how things change over time.

Questions used to develop a student’s project:


Social Reasoning: “What are other people’s perspectives on this?”

This goal is to think like an historian or anthropologist: to see diverse perspectives, to understand social issues, to explore ethics, and to look at issues historically.

Questions used to develop a student’s project:

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