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Model Programs Database

Big Picture Learning

325 Public Street
Providence, RI 02905
http://www.bigpicture.org

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Contact Information:
Kari Thierer
National Director of School & Network Support
401.243.7523
kthierer@bigpicturelearning.org

Program Specification:

Emphasis:

Gender:

Rating:

Prevention

Both

Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness

Age/Grade Level:

Target Settings:

Target Groups:

Elementary
Middle School
High School

Rural
Urban
Suburban
Inner City
Tribal

Individuals

Ethnicity:

Other Participation Criteria:

All Ethnicities

Description:

Big Picture Learning's mission is to lead vital changes in education, both in the United States and internationally, by generating and sustaining innovative, personalized schools that work in tandem with the real world of the greater community. We believe that in order to sustain successful schools where authentic and relevant learning takes place, we must continually innovate techniques and test learning tools to make our schools better and more rigorous. Lastly, we believe that in order to create and influence the schools of the future, we must use the lessons learned through our practice and research to give us added leverage to impact changes in public policy.

Program Descriptors Include:
Academic Improvement, Alternative Education, Career Education, Community Collaboration

Starting Date: 1995
Students Served Per Year: 500+
Last Verified: 2010

Risk Factors:

Protective Factors:

Program addresses the following:

Individual factors

  • Has a learning disability or emotional disturbance
  • High number of work hours
  • Parenthood
  • High-risk peer group
  • High-risk social behavior
  • Highly socially active outside of school
  • Low achievement
  • Retention/overage for grade
  • Poor attendance
  • Low educational expectations
  • Lack of effort
  • Low commitment to school
  • No extracurricular participation
  • Misbehavior
  • Early aggression

Family factors

  • Low socioeconomic status
  • High family mobility
  • Low education level of parents
  • Large number of siblings
  • Not living with both natural parents
  • Family disruption
  • Low educational expectations
  • Sibling(s) has dropped out
  • Low contact with school
  • Lack of conversations about school

Community factors

  • Family composition/socioeconomic status
  • Local labor market/neighborhood stability
  • Youth social attitudes

Program promotes the following:

Relationships

  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Clear social norms
  • Good relationships with parents, peers, and teachers
  • Involvement with positive peer activities
  • Perception of support from adults and peers

Independence

  • Healthy/conventional beliefs and standards
  • Positive/resilient temperament

Competence

  • Social competencies
  • Self efficacy

Creativity

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility

Optimism

  • High expectations by community, family, school, and self
  • Optimistic

Program Resources:

Annual Cost:

Unspecified

Funding Sources Include:

Program Staff Includes:

State Agencies
Local/City/County Agencies
School Districts
Foundations
Donations

Teachers
Counselors
Volunteers
Social Workers
SROs
Graduation Coaches
Parents
School Administrators

Materials Used:

Supporting / Partner Organizations:

Unspecified

Alternative High School Initiative

Evaluation Information:

The Big Picture Learning design is a dynamic approach to learning, doing, and thinking that has been changing the lives of students, educators, and entire communities since 1995. All of components of the design are based on three foundational principles: first, that learning must be based on the interests and goals of each student; second, that a student's curriculum must be relevant to people and places that exist in the real world; and finally, that a student's abilities must be authentically measured by the quality of her or his work. We currently sustain a network of over 80 schools worldwide with an average graduation rate of 92% and a 95% college acceptance rate.

How evaluation data was collected:
Data collected and analyzed at school/district level
Data collected and analyzed at state or organizational level

National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities
209 Martin Street
Clemson, SC 29631-1555
Toll Free: 866-745-5641
TDD: 866-212-2775
Fax: 864-656-0136
Email: NDPCSD-L@clemson.edu

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Last Updated: September 19, 2014