Late in this past school year, a conversation developed with our high school tech coach, Bea Leiderman, around how we might visualize where a lesson “falls” or “sits” in terms of its proximity to a “deeper learning experience.” Could it be done? She soon reminded me that the model she’s been helping her husband, Dr. Bill Rankin develop, included some different ways to think about the learning experience. Bill’s “Cubic Learning” idea was something that resonated with me. He in turn came to help us for our Strategic Innovation Symposium as the keynote speaker. And two days later, at our admin retreat, he presented the formal cubic learning model to our team.
So the “cube” presents three faces: content, context, and community. To these, I added three additional pathways: tools, rigor, and skills. As complex as instruction and learning are as concepts, we wanted a way to also be able to talk about different components of the learning process. With the Pathways, we have a model that can break down the complexity of learning, especially as we move away from asking students to simply recall information, and have experiences throughout the year when students can more deeply experience content.
At this point in time, we have a Schoology course devoted towards Pathways for high school teachers and have introduced the model to our iPad cohort this summer. Our next steps are to develop a principal walk-though rubric for teacher consults. In addition, student surveys have been introduced to address student reflection and how they felt they were learning along each of the six pathways.
We hope this model helps everyone see where the teachers have designed students to be and ways to differentiate to meet student needs.