Harvard just proposed a radical new approach to college admissions and it sounds a great deal like the Protean approach to personal learning.
When Protean was founded, we as a group of parents, technologist, students and education experts, envisioned a student centric platform where students could capture, articulate, and reflect upon learning opportunities using evidence from the world around them in a patented and unique approach to the PLP.
For those of you who have seen our various product demos, you saw a world where a student not only engaged in classroom assignments but also tied academic/personal goals and standards to evidence of learnings from diverse activities outside of the classroom and online. The evidence informed a unique life experience, whether community service, internships, or personal family history, which can now be linked to an academic standard or goal and reflected upon to demonstrate proficiency.
As a result, using Protean, a student engaging the world around them can quickly identify their "natural" proficiencies, now reportable and trackable using the platform.
In short, we envisioned a world that just now Harvard and others are validating.
In particular, the report has three specific recommendations to achieve their goals (Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/harvard-report-proposes-changes-to-college-admissions-2016-1)
1) Promoting more meaningful contributions to others, community service and engagement with the public good.
With Protean, we not only capture those moments, students are asked to reflect on them and tie them to specific standards and goals. By doing so we create a track record that informs proficiency better than any grades could. And by working with our partners, we also build in established community values into the platform (Stay tuned).
2) Assessing students’ ethical engagement and contributions to others in ways that reflect varying types of family and community contributions across race, culture and class.
With Protean, student, community members and parents are the central players in setting goals and validating experiences across the platform and by doing so reinforce ethical learnings.
3) Redefining achievement in ways that both level the playing field for economically diverse students and reduce excessive achievement pressure.
With Protean we capture learning from any source. For youth in diverse communities, this means culturally specific learnings now become part of the process of meeting academic requirements and proficiencies. For example an economically diverse student who also works and contributes to the welfare of the family, can now demonstrate proficiencies in economics, math or other subjects by calling on specific evidence from that after school job in a way that now makes a difference.
If the recommendations from Harvard and others are implemented, a student's Protean profile (stay tuned) would be as valuable, if not more, than grades in an admissions process. It doesn't get more personal than that.
Ali Sarafzade, Founder.