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Portrait of a Graduate: How to Develop Durable Skills for the 21st Century and Beyond

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST

Portrait of a Graduate: How to Develop Durable Skills for the 21st Century and Beyond

Presented by Ken Kay, Education Provocateur; Stephanie Reyes, Teacher, Val Verde Unified School District (CA); and Alison Shell, Senior Research Scientist, Digital Promise
Moderated by Barbara Pape, Senior Director, Learner Variability Project, Digital Promise

Sponsored by Digital Promise

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Durable skills for the 21st century are on the minds of many educators and district leaders. These skills can include developing critical thinking, curiosity, creativity, and collaboration—skills a growing number of employers seek in new employees based on the rapidly evolving needs of the Digital Revolution. Unfortunately, these skills are not made available to far too many students. Preparing to introduce these skills in schools redefines student success and elevates new education goals. These can be found in the Portrait of a Graduate framework used by many districts nationwide.

In this edWebinar, we hear the history of Portrait of a Graduate and be provided with examples of how schools have adopted this framework and addressed these skills so that all students can meet success. We also hear about the Learner Variability Project’s new learner model, Portrait of a Learner, to understand the importance of developing durable skills through a whole child lens, the research that supports them, and strategies to bring them to life in classrooms. Viewers learn about:

  • Some of the key factors of learning that comprise the Portrait of a Learner, including critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, civic mindedness, and curiosity
  • How to create a “greenlight culture” in schools in order to understand and address development of these durable skills
  • The importance of student ownership
  • Specific experiences of a teacher engaged in Portrait of a Learner work in her classroom

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to K-12 teachers and school and district leaders.

Ken Kay

About the Presenters

Ken Kay has worked for almost two decades as an “education provocateur” promoting a new model of K-12 education for the 21st century. Most recently, he served as CEO of Edleader21, a professional learning community of more than 200 school districts around the United States. Prior to his work with Edleader21, Ken was the Founding President of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Executive Director of the CEO Forum on Education and Technology. Ken’s latest book, Redefining Student Success: Building a New Vision to Transform Leading, Teaching, and Learning, was co-authored with Suzie Boss and published by Corwin in 2021. He is also co-author with Valerie Greenhill of The Leader’s Guide to 21st Century Education: 7 Steps for Schools and Districts. Ken is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Denver College of Law.

Stephanie Reyes

Stephanie Reyes is an elementary school teacher at Triple Crown Elementary in the Val Verde Unified School District. Her teaching journey began in 2018, and since then, she has been working with her fellow educators to create a positive impact on their students. Presently, Stephanie teaches in a fourth-grade dual language immersion classroom. She collaborates with the dual language team at her site to foster an environment where students excel academically and develop crucial bilingual and biliterate skills. Committed to the three pillars of dual language education—bilingualism/biliteracy, high academic achievement in both program languages, and sociocultural competence—she strives to provide her students with a well-rounded education. In her current role, Stephanie aspires to guide her students toward the district’s Portrait of a Graduate, emphasizing critical thinking, flexibility, creativity, communication, and collaboration—skills essential for their future success. Beyond the classroom, Stephanie collaborates with fellow educators at Triple Crown Elementary to achieve various site goals. These goals encompass a broad spectrum, including K-5 literacy, mathematical practices, STEAM integration, college and career readiness, as well as fostering a positive climate and culture within the school. Stephanie’s commitment to these goals extends to promoting PBIS skills (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) and incorporating social justice standards into her teaching, ensuring a well-rounded and inclusive educational experience for all students.

Alison R. Shell

Alison Shell, Ph.D. is the Senior Research Scientist on the Learner Variability Project at Digital Promise. She is passionate about bridging the research and practice gap and thinking about how we can share our knowledge and learn from one another. Her work focuses on surfacing research across the learning sciences to empower educators to use research to better understand their students and support learner success. She recently moved from D.C. to return to her Boston roots along with her two young children whom she learns more from every day than she could from reading all the research in the world. Alison received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Maryland and her B.A. in cognitive science from Vassar College.

Barbara Pape

About the Moderator

Barbara Pape, Senior Director for the Learner Variability Project at Digital Promise, led a three-year national survey on learner variability and teacher practice, wrote the paper defining learner variability, hosts a monthly webinar series, and co-developed The IEP Project. Previously, she worked in policy analysis and communications for nonprofits and in the U.S. Senate. Barbara has written for numerous publications and was editor of the first electronically delivered education newsletter, the Daily Report Card. Previously, she produced the Teaching & Learning conference for the National Board, worked in the communications office for the AFT during President Al Shanker’s tenure, and headed up government relations for the City Colleges of Chicago. As a first-generation college student, she is working on her Ph.D. at University College London and earned an Ed.M. at Harvard in reading and literacy. Barbara launched her career as a middle school teacher in her hometown of Pittsburgh.

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