The Outcome Driven Developmental Model, an innovative educational process that takes a "holistic" approach to a child's needs, is showing significant results in some Utah districts.
Some Utah districts have been using the method for up to five years, while others have initiated programs more recently, Superintendent Kirk Wright told the State Board of Education Thursday.Wright's district, Juab, was one of the pioneers of the program, which is now implemented in more than 20 districts, most of them small rural districts.
A report prepared by Terry P. Applegate and W. Keith Evans of Research and Development Consultants indicated that children's performance in basic academic areas improved as much as one to three grade levels in some instances in the Outcome Driven Developmental Model districts.
The report compared test scores for 1984-85 and 1988-89 in five districts. In districts where the outcome-based model had been in use for at least three years, gains were significant, the researchers said.
Marilyn Lofgreen, a teacher in Morgan Elementary School, told the board the program's philosophy has allowed her to achieve more satisfaction as a teacher. "I don't teach fourth grade," she said, "I teach children . . . this approach has changed my personal and professional life."
Change always generates some resistance, she said, and participating districts have spent a lot of time preliminarily building consensus among administrators, teachers, parents and community. Various elements within education have had to give up traditional "turf" to make the method work.
Success depends on collaboration, not confrontation, Wright said.
The program focuses its effort on individual students, identifying different learning styles, setting goals and using innovative classroom techniques to bring about the desired ends.
Among the benefits he has noted in Juab District, Wright said, are an "energized and enthused" staff, better academic results, more focused organization, student enthusiasm and higher quality work.
"Its a great program with great promise," Wright said.
Board member Neola Brown, whose board area includes many of the state's rural districts, also endorsed the program. "If any system is designed to empower people, this is it," she said.