Back to school is just around the corner, so we now you’re asking big questions like: What do students really need this year to make sure they’re fully prepared for all the future has to offer?
We developed the five XQ Learner Outcomes in response to these questions. These rigorous outcomes represent the knowledge and skills students will need to navigate the challenges of the future. Explore these resources to consider how you can incorporate the learner goals to set your students up for success. Ready? Let’s jump in!
1. KNOW: Holders of Foundational Knowledge
Give students the knowledge they need to graduate with confidence and curiosity about the world and their place in it.
Why It Matters: It’s obvious to say students should gain new knowledge in high school—but what should that knowledge be? At XQ, we understand “foundational knowledge” to be deep knowledge about the world—its history and cultures, its sciences, its underlying mathematics, its biology, and its cultural currency. To cultivate knowledge and encourage student curiosity:
- Emphasize research projects
- Invite students to think critically about existing cultural narratives, where these narratives come from, and how they might challenge or expand them
- Expose students to diverse perspectives
Extra Credit: A Guide to Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning
2. APPLY: Masters of Fundamental Literacies
Help students take real ownership of their academics.
Why It Matters: High school students don’t just need to graduate with a strong academic core—they need to know how to use it. Mastering fundamental literacies means having the intellectual agility and broad background to apply and combine academic skills in a range of contexts, so that students can translate their high school learning to college and career success. Strategies to build fundamental literacies include:
- Build projects around authentic challenges
- Reward academic risk-taking
- Practice competency-based learning, where students progress based on how well they’ve mastered core skills
Extra Credit: Learn How the Arts Bolster STEM Education
3. CONSIDER: Original Thinkers for an Uncertain World
When there are no easy answers, empower students to find creative solutions.
Why It Matters: The challenges high schoolers will face after graduating are far from simple. Prepare your students by helping them become original thinkers: sense-makers who can synthesize conflicting information, respond to ambiguity with creative ideas, and see problems from new perspectives. To support these skills in the classroom:
- Design projects to be interdisciplinary, encouraging students to make connections across subject areas
- Challenge students to design solutions to real-world problems
- Connect students with advocates leading change efforts in your community
4. CO-CREATE: Generous Collaborators for Tough Problems
Why It Matters: One of the most important skills you can teach your students is how to be in community. Empower your students to work effectively with others by teaching them self-awareness, communication, and how to value others’ talents and contributions. Try these approaches to emphasize collaboration:
- Prioritize group-work where students learn from and rely on each other
- Incorporate real-world debates into curriculum, and have students research different viewpoints
- Treat disagreement in the classroom as an opportunity to teach skills like de-escalation and conflict resolution
5. EXPLORE: Learners for Life
Learning doesn’t stop at high school graduation.
Why It Matters: Today’s students will graduate into a rapidly changing world. To succeed in this environment, students need to be self-driven and self-directed, prepared to invent their own paths for their career and life. To empower your students as life-long learners:
- Create opportunities for student choice within the classroom
- Connect students with internships
- Design projects around student interest to help build intrinsic motivation
XQ X-TRA: XQ Learning in Action
We know that the first step toward reimagining high school involves seeing what high school redesign looks like in action. To learn more about how XQ schools prepare students for the future, follow us on Instagram and Twitter. We will be posting stories of XQ learners from XQ schools and beyond!
Here’s a look at XQ Learner who has become a master of fundamental literacies.