Since its inception, Big Picture Learning has challenged traditional approaches to teaching and learning with our emphasis on starting with the student. Our ten distinguishers work as a framework for a very different school design. We believe our students’ stories stand as testaments to our model, but we also believe in the importance of rigorous program evaluation. We are engaged in the longitudinal study of our students, which we began in 2007 through a partnership with Dr. Karen Arnold, of Boston College. We continue to partner with researchers and research organizations so that we can look deeply into the real outcomes of our work—our students’ lives after graduation. We value the insights into our program that data and research grant us, and work hard to continually improve what we do, as we learn from the powerful data stories of our students and our schools.
Post-secondary Outcomes of Innovative High Schools- The Longitudinal Study - As part of the ten-year Big Picture Longitudinal Study (BPLS), Dr. Karen Arnold and her research team at Boston College reported out findings at the ASHE conference in November 2014. This penultimate paper discusses trends in findings around relationship-building, post-secondary preparation, college transition and persistence.
Capturing the Elusive: Collecting Post-graduation Data from Low-Income High School Students - This paper discusses methods and initial outcomes of the Connector Study, which is an element of the larger BPLS project. Trends around college enrollment are discussed, as well as best practices for collecting qualitative data around the post-secondary lives of students.
Making Mastery Work: A Close-up View of Competency Education - This report from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation examines practices in competency-based programs from the New England region, including two Big Picture programs. The project dives deeply into practice, outcomes and tools in competency-based education approaches.