The accreditation field is dominated by established firms and may seem like a difficult one to break into.
- What is school accreditation?
- Why pursue the development of a school accreditation model?
- What value would a holistic school accreditation model add to K-12 education more broadly?
- How would school accreditation model differ from other models?
1. What is school accreditation?
2. Why pursue the development of a school accreditation model?
- Quality of Individual Experiences
An examination of how the individuals within the school experience their activities there.
The data gathered about individual experiences will use established scientifically respected frameworks regarding motivation and engagement.
Patterns of motivation and engagement will serve as the foundation of the accreditation decision. The maintenance of intrinsic motivation and/or high levels of engagement will be required along with indications of positive school climate.
If less than ideal conditions are observed in the motivation and engagement data then activities that regularly occur in the school will be viewed critically from three important perspectives: the learning agent (e.g. students, teachers, & principals) , the learning catalyst (e.g. teachers & principals), and the learning context (e.g. principals & societal stakeholders).
- Commitment to Sustainability
The well-established and successful ecological sustainability model, the Natural Step, is based on the fact that global ecological reality inherently imposes four very specific limitations that define sustainability.
The sustainability component of our accreditation model is a holistic expansion of the Natural Step.
Sustainability is determined by the behaviors of multiple levels of systems that are both embodied by and embedded in other systems.
For instance, an organization behaves through the actions of individuals even as the organization is part of society and the individual is made up of cells.
All the behaviors at the cellular, individual, organizational, and societal levels interact with the ecological level described in the Natural Step.
Schools will be required to develop transparent communications with their stakeholders regarding how they address the various levels of sustainability.
- Organizational Activism
A systematic design approach to articulating how the school intends to fulfill their role as a part of the larger education system in which it is embedded.
Schools must both fit into and positively affect the society in which they are embedded.
This accreditation system will require accredited schools to participate in the policy conversations at state, federal, and global levels that shape the limitations on how they can and should operate.
Currently that conversation effectively excludes holism, but that can and should change.
It will only change if schools take responsibility for changing it and cooperate on actions to make the change happen..