Positive Impact on Student & Teacher Performance
From kindergarten to high school, we are dedicated to boosting student performance, closing achievement gaps, and focusing education on the students’ needs, first and foremost.
Educational Directions specializes in customized academic improvement programs and strategies geared toward enhancing student performance, boosting leadership capabilities of school faculty and staff, and positively impacting the culture and outcomes of K-12 schools.
We work with state, district, and school leaders to develop impact strategies that focus on three core change agents — teacher efficiency, student performance, and school culture. Each track can then be aligned to specific grade levels, state standards, subject matters, and school needs — and further broken into teacher and student learning programs.
Educational Directions Philosophy of "Student-Centered" Teaching
Educational Directions’ approach reshapes the way a school thinks about “work.” Our focus on defining and acting on “the right work” produces improved performance in each student. Our professional development training focuses on what the learner needs to have achieved at specific times in the school year and strategies for preparing schools to provide those experiences to learners. In the schools, our coaches help apply those strategies to the school’s specific circumstances and needs. We address the root causes of peer performance by putting greater focus on student work than on test scores that lack context.
Improve Student Learning
Educational Directions uses a number of strategies to improve student learning and academic achievement. The core of our approach is our understanding of The 5 Legged Model, and attention to The Rhythm of the Learner Year and the types of experiences students need to have in each part of the year. We will also use a variety of data points other than test scores to identify and to track student performance. Teachers and Educational Directions staff utilize data, portfolios, and assessment samples in PLC discussions to inform decisions about student needs.
Increase Learning Opportunities
Another core element of the Educational Directions approach to students is focus on equal opportunity in experience as learner and performer. Academic and management rituals and routines are used to build an equal experience basis for all students and performers. As part of this, Educational Directions uses diagnostic tools to determine where students are as learner and performer as a starting point to develop a plan to move all students to the transition expectations established for that particular academic year.
Innovate Learning Methods
Educational Directions encourages innovation by training school leadership and teaching staff to do student-focused unit and lesson plans. We establish goals for the year, translated into course, unit, and lesson plans and used to establish specific competencies expected of all students. The diagnostics that identify where students start that learning process help determine the types and levels of work that students need to experience to move from where they are to where they need to be by the end of the academic year.
Monitor Student Achievement
The development of a true “plan backwards – deliver forwards” curriculum depends upon extensive monitoring of not only student scores; it also depends upon the learning and performing competencies, attitudes, and perceptions required for the student to demonstrate thier potential as a performer and to make successful transitions to the next level.
Educational Methodology and Performance Model
Educational Directions defines student performance as a student’s ability to independently retrieve learning from long term memory and use that information and those processes at the level at which he or she will be assessed.
Student performance rests on five legs. Learn more about our 5 Legged Model of Student Performance.
We split the year into discrete periods, each with priorities building toward an independent student learner and performer who understands proficiency and gives best effort. These periods make up what we call the “Rhythm of the Learner Year.”
Joe DeSensi is the president of Educational Directions. He has an undergraduate degree from Bellarmine University, a graduate degree in computer-resource management from Webster University, and a doctorate in leadership education from Spalding University. Dr. DeSensi has worked with Fortune 500 companies, federal and local government, and school districts across the Southeast and Midwest. He developed custom and enterprise software to help districts track data and target students’ needs, and he holds patents in school data-management software and database integration. Dr. DeSensi also teaches graduate classes in leadership, ethics, and strategic planning at Spalding University.
Dr. DeSensi is an engaging and informative speaker that has presented on a range of topics from professional and leadership development, to education reform, school improvement, and the a breakthrough learning methodology called the Rhythm of the Learner Year.
Founder | Chief Innovation Officer
Frank DeSensi is the founder and C.I.O. of Educational Directions, LLC. and consults with schools and school districts.
A retired educator, Frank spent 35 years in a variety of teaching and administrative positions. He taught at the university, college, middle school and secondary levels, worked in central office as a curriculum specialist and held both principal and assistant principal positions.
From 1993 to 1998, Frank served as a Kentucky Distinguished Educator (DE) assisting schools that had been labeled “in decline” or “in crisis” under the provisions of the Kentucky Education Reform Act. Frank helped develop the STAR training program for new DE’s and served as a trainer in the Kentucky Leadership Academy. He has, with 2 others, developed two and one-half data management systems for schools (patent pending).