Despite many efforts at reforming and reinventing the place we call ‘school’, education has made little progress in liberating itself from a 19th-century factory model.
‘Learning’ remains largely de-personalised, is often confused with high-stakes test results, and does not often equip our children with the understandings, aptitudes, values, competencies, and skills needed to deal with the global dilemmas and challenges of our times.
Accreditation protocols have perpetuated – perhaps unwittingly and unintentionally – this model through compliance-oriented ‘quality assurance’ processes. Schools may have improved as a result, but they have not changed substantively in purpose, orientation, or design.
ACE, from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), on the other hand, reshapes accreditation into a vehicle for driving systemic change and transformation, by focusing squarely on ‘learning’ – what its Impact on the learner should be, and what evidence a Learning Community should be looking for to validate the desired Impact.
ACE aims to change the place called ‘school’ into an “interactive museum of learning opportunities” (Yong Zhao), envisioned and sustained by a community that shares and acts upon a common, enlightened understanding of learning.
ECIS has is NEASC's partner providing the professional development and training for schools that wish to move to ACE, including professional development targeted to areas of need or interest to particular schools. In addition, ECIS is providing the training for individuals who wish to be part of the school visiting teams.