Where’s Your School on the Exhibitions Continuum

CES has identified four phases of exhibitions implementation among Essential schools. The schools represented in this issue of Horace are implementing exhibitions systemically; their stories provide insight into their efforts to construct and continuously improve exhibitions as a “final product” and a whole-school process.

  • Beginning Implementation Student learning is regularly assessed at the school, but exhibitions as an authentic assessment strategy are not currently being used. The school has plans to begin or has shown interest in developing structures.
  • Partial Implementation Exhibitions are implemented by a select number of faculty members as an authentic assessment strategy in some grades and disciplines. Exhibitions are completed by some students; some structures are in place.
  • Demonstrating Implementation Exhibitions are implemented by a majority of the faculty in most grades and disciplines as an authentic assessment strategy. Exhibitions are completed by many students; a majority of structures are in place.
  • Systemic Implementation Exhibitions are an integral part of the program school-wide using authentic assessment strategies in all grades and disciplines. Exhibitions are completed by all students; the school has developed the capacity to be self-sustaining and continuously improving.

Use the expertise of the CES Network to systemically implement exhibitions at your school. CES National, CES Mentor Schools, and the CES Affiliate Centers offer opportunities throughout the year to develop your school’s capacity to use exhibitions as an impetus for restructuring or as a key goal for new school design and backward planning. Here’s how to find resources, support, and inspiration:

  • Check out our CES Small School Network Professional Development Catalog online at www.essentialschools.org/pdfs/PDguide2006-2007web.pdf
  • Join us July 9-13, 2007 in Miami Beach for the annual CES Small Schools Network Summer Institute! For more, visit www.essentialschools.org/events.html
  • Save the date for Fall Forum! Fall Forum 2007 will be held November 8-10 in Denver. Visit www.essentialschools.org for more information on leading a Fall Forum workshop or organizing attendance for a team from your school community.

The CES network has a long history of developing and refining exhibitions and supportive school designs, cultures, and systems. These resources, compiled to support CES’s National Exhibition month, represent tremendously useful artifacts of the practice of using exhibitions in a variety of school settings. CES’s exhibition resources also include links to CES research efforts that document the effectiveness of performance based demonstration of mastery. CES’s exhibition resources are available online at www.essentialschools.org/pub/ces_docs/schools/nem/nem_moreex.html

And there’s more…

Student Achievement, Disc 2 of the CES EssentialVisions DVD series, focuses on exhibitions and other forms of demonstrations of mastery in Essential schools. Beginning with a detailed description of what it means to ask students to share what they know and can do with their community, the DVD offers two additional segments that bring exhibitions to life. In “Senior Exhibition Project,” a group of Quest High School twelfth graders and two advisors prepare for the senior exhibitions that are both a graduation requirement and the culmination of their high school careers. This segment serves as a stellar example of how all of the systems and commitments of a CES Mentor School visibly culminate in senior exhibitions. “Getting Started” shows how a new small Essential school, Empowerment College Preparatory School, partners with Quest High School as it plans backwards to weave preparation for exhibitions through its curriculum and practices and how those exhibitions manifest among students at the beginning of their high school careers. Providing an exemplary look at scaffolding, this segment shows a school in action building an academic program centered on the exhibitions process.

The CES EssentialVisions DVDs are available directly through CES National. Visit us on the web at www.essentialschools.org or call 510.433-1451.

CES ChangeLab is an expanding collection of resources from the CES Mentor Schools, a group of exemplary Essential schools collaborating with new Essential schools as part of the CES Small Schools Project. The assessment section of CES ChangeLab provides links to documents, descriptions, tools, and other material that demonstrates how exhibitions are used now in a variety of Essential schools. In significant ways, the Exhibitions resources on CES ChangeLab are a direct complement to the articles in this issue of Horace, with links to exhibitions information from School of the Future, Francis W. Parker Essential Charter School, and Leadership High School.

CES ChangeLab is online at www.ceschangelab.org