Envisioning the Graduate of the Future

Students throwing graduation caps in the air.

In this course, learners reflect on the purpose and goals of secondary school, as well as desirable characteristics for graduates. (Image courtesy of hippopx. Used under CC0.)


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Communities have always wrestled with the multiple purposes of education: to train young people for careers, vocations, and college; to prepare them for their roles as citizens; to develop habits of reflective, ethical adults; and to create a common experience in a pluralistic society while meeting the needs of individual learners. As the world changes and grows more complex, returning to these important questions of purpose can help guide schools in their growth and strategic change.

To ensure our schools are effective, we need to routinely reimagine what the high school graduate of the future will need to know and be able to do. The artifact that communicates these ideas is called a graduate profile. Making explicit the capabilities, competencies, knowledge, and attitudes for secondary school graduates, and inviting key stakeholders like students and community members to be engaged in the process, can help you and your school to focus your vision of success and drive school innovation efforts.

This course is part of the Open Learning Library, which is free to use. You have the option to sign up and enroll in the course if you want to track your progress, or you can view and use all the materials without enrolling.

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Justin Reich, Elizabeth Huttner-Loan, and Alyssa Napier. RES.CMS-501 Envisioning the Graduate of the Future. Spring 2020. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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