Five Questions With: Luke Driver and Mario F. Cirillo – Rhode Island News

Five Questions With: Luke Driver and Mario F. Cirillo – Rhode Island News

MARIO F. CIRILLO is the principal of the Academy for Career Exploration in Providence, a public charter school with a focus on tech skills training and competency-based learning. /COURTESY ACADEMY FOR CAREER EXPLORATION

Luke Driver is the career and technical education curriculum coordinator at the Academy for Career Exploration in Providence, a public charter school with a focus on tech skills training and competency-based learning.

Driver, along with ACE Principal Mario F. Cirillo, spoke with Providence Business News about ACE’s unique model for modern tech education and how their curriculum intends to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.

PBN: How does ACE balance classroom learning and practical application?

DRIVER: Practical application is in fact part of the sequence of learning. It is a key element in how learning happens in the brain. At ACE we use the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, a respected measure of cognitive complexity, which provides six levels of thinking while learning. These range from simple to complex: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating.

Employers will recognize that today’s workplace demands proficiency in all six thinking levels, and values employees who can think nimbly, moving among these cognitive levels as situations demand. Entrepreneurs think this way. They know how to learn, become self-directed in their learning and are able to “think on their feet” in unfamiliar situations. We are finding that our students, even ninth-graders, are capable of performing at these levels.

PBN: What does “competency-based learning” mean…

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