Each e-Center crafts its own identity and builds on its unique strengths within its community, yet all apply the same ten fundamental principles for learning effectiveness:
Principle 1. TIME ON TASK
Learning is directly related to time and effort applied mastering skills of an appropriate difficulty level, so achievement increases when downtime and distractions are minimized, when study is focused at the right level for each learner, when time-on-task is maximized, and when extra hours are directed to learning.
Principle 2. ONE STEP AT A TIME
Learning basic and other skills is a sequential process best achieved through individualized, self-paced, competency-based instruction, organized into a progression of "bite-sized" learning tasks, with each learner starting at his or her entry skill level, working independently, and progressing as rapidly as mastery is demonstrated.
Principle 3. ONE LEARNER AT A TIME
Learning is accelerated when caring teachers and aides provide individualized treatment, role models, good counsel, motivation, timely assistance and the "human touch" - assessing, planning, scheduling, orienting, advising, monitoring, tutoring, disciplining and rewarding each learner as and when needed.
Principle 4. DIFFERENT STROKES
Learning styles and preferences vary and most learners like variety, so learning is enhanced when there are diverse text, audio, video, computer, multimedia and internet materials that can be readily accessed at any time to meet any specific learning need -- more so when learners have a say in these choices.
Principle 5. TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
Learning is enhanced when the learners are self-directed and have a sense of efficacy - being involved in choices of what to learn and how, taking responsibility for effort and achievement, setting their own pace, and determining their rate of progress toward agreed-upon goals.
Principle 6. EVERYONE CAN
Learning is easier for those who believe they can learn. It is enhanced by teachers, instructional approaches and materials that provide frequent feedback and positive reinforcement, that recognize both individual effort and achievement, and that treat learners with fairness and respect.
Principle 7. KNOW WHERE YOU STAND
Learning is a step-by-step process, so it is critical that each step is mastered before moving forward, that effort and progress are documented and rewarded, that problems are immediately identified so help can be provided, and that learners know where they stand and where they are going.
Principle 8. READY WHEN YOU ARE
Learning is more feasible when flexibly scheduled on an open-entry/open-exit basis to meet each learner's needs, rather than rigidly organized into group classrooms where the learner is left behind if absent. It is accelerated when based on mastery, not seat time, so the learner has reason and opportunity to work hard to master skills and move on.
Principle 9. A HELPING HAND
Learning is nurtured in a structured yet supportive "tough-love" learning environment that deals with the personal problems that often undermine educational progress. This requires integrated and immediate counseling and supportive services, as well as firm but fair rules of behavior and participation.
Principle 10. A MEANS TO AN END
Learning is accelerated and more directed when integrated with other development, training, education, counseling and service activities. It is most effective combined with or as a stepping-stone to secondary or higher education, vocational training or employment, certification or citizenship qualification.
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