The Progress K-8 process may sound like just another inspirational-sounding buzzword if you’re not actually familiar with what the process entails. Luckily, it’s an easy process to break down, we can take a look at the goals of the process, what the process entails, and how it benefits students. Let’s get started.

What are Progress K-8’s goals? The goals of the Progress K-8 ELA process are pretty easy to summarize. The process aims to turn students into critical thinkers, capable of effective communication, and practical problem solving. Some teaching programs teach students memorization, but Progress hopes to help students become independent learners, capable of grasping the material and making students eager to learn more—in the classroom and on their own time. In short, the end goal is not just to get great test scores out of the students, but to help them become active learners.

How does Progress K-8 achieve these goals? Progress K-8 relies on the Gradual Release of Responsibility model with a single, continuous text. Think of a child learning to ride their bike. At first, their mother or father may hold the seat of the bicycle to keep it balanced. With each practice ride, they may let go earlier and earlier, until the child is eventually able to ride with no parental assistance at all. It’s a little bit like that. The responsibility shifts gradually from the teacher to the student, who not only learns the subject, they learn how to learn, how to study on their own, and how to pursue education as a personal goal, not simply because the teacher expects it of them. A big part of this process is the immediate availability of instruction and practice material for reading, writing, communicating, and various language skills, organized by essential standards into digestible units.

How does this process benefit the student? Confucius said that one who learns but does not think is lost, and that one who thinks but does not learn is doomed. One approach to teaching is to simply teach the student the facts, to get them to memorize the answers that will be necessary to get a passing grade. This is learning without thinking. Without the proper guidance early on, you have thinking without learning. The Progress approach is to teach the student how to learn, and how to learn on their own. When a student knows how to learn, when they’re helped to develop a passion for the pursuit of knowledge, they have the tools to pass any test, and to succeed anywhere life takes them.

To sum it up: Progress K-8 isn’t just about learning the facts, it’s about learning how to learn.

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