Maine’s Guiding Principles

The Framework for Proficiency-Based Learning is designed to help schools create efficient and effective systems that will ensure all students graduate prepared to succeed in the college, careers, and communities of the 21st century. For this reason, our model is focused on prioritizing and assessing the most critically important knowledge and skills, while also balancing high academic standards with the need for flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity in the classroom.

For proficiency-based learning to be effective, schools and teachers have to prioritize. They will need to determine what knowledge and skills students absolutely need to acquire before they graduate from high school, what content knowledge students need to learn in each subject area, and what essential benchmarks students need to meet as they progress through their education.

The Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction (adopted 1997, revised 2007) describe what high school graduates should know and be able to do as a result of completing a K–12 educational experience. The Common Core State Standards (adopted 2011) updated the Maine Learning Results in English language arts and mathematics. Cross-curricular skills are embedded throughout the content-area standards, and the Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results describe the cross-curricular, skill-based standards students are expected to learn and acquire over the course of their K–12 education.


A Clear and Effective Communicator who:

  1. Demonstrates organized and purposeful communication in English and at least one other language.
  2. Uses evidence and logic appropriately in communication.
  3. Adjusts communication based on the audience.
  4. Uses a variety of modes of expression (spoken, written, and visual and performing including the use of technology to create and share the expressions).

A Self-Directed and Lifelong Learner who:

  1. Recognizes the need for information and locates and evaluates resources.
  2. Applies knowledge to set goals and make informed decisions.
  3. Applies knowledge in new contexts.
  4. Demonstrates initiative and independence.
  5. Demonstrates flexibility including the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
  6. Demonstrates reliability and concern for quality.
  7. Uses interpersonal skills to learn and work with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

A Creative and Practical Problem Solver who:

  1. Observes and evaluates situations to define problems.
  2. Frames questions, makes predictions, and designs data/information collection and analysis strategies.
  3. Identifies patterns, trends, and relationships that apply to solutions.
  4. Generates a variety of solutions, builds a case for a best response and critically evaluates the effectiveness of the response.
  5. Sees opportunities, finds resources, and seeks results.
  6. Uses information and technology to solve problems.
  7. Perseveres in challenging situations.

A Responsible and Involved Citizen who:

  1. Participates positively in the community and designs creative solutions to meet human needs and wants.
  2. Accepts responsibility for personal decisions and actions.
  3. Demonstrates ethical behavior and the moral courage to sustain it.
  4. Understands and respects diversity.
  5. Displays global awareness and economic and civic literacy.
  6. Demonstrates awareness of personal and community health and wellness.

An Integrative and Informed Thinker who:

  1. Gains and applies knowledge across disciplines and learning contexts and to real life situations with and without technology.
  2. Evaluates and synthesizes information from multiple sources.
  3. Applies ideas across disciplines.
  4. Applies systems thinking to understand the interaction and influence of related parts on each other and on outcomes.

Maine Learning Results Guiding Principles Standards
The following Guiding Principles standards were developed in response to Maine Public Law 669, Section 9, Development of standards-based tools.

A. A Clear and Effective Communicator who:
Standard A: Understands the attributes and techniques that positively impact constructing and conveying meaning for a variety of purposes and through a variety of modes.

B. A Self-Directed and Lifelong Learner who:
Standard B: Understands the importance of embracing and nurturing a growth mindset.

C. A Creative and Practical Problem Solver who:
Standard C: Is skilled at selecting and applying a process of problem-solving to deepen understanding and determine whether redefining the goal is a better way of addressing a problem situation and continuing to consider other alternative solutions until one resonates as the best one.

D. A Responsible and Involved Citizen who:
Standard D: Understands the interdependence within and across systems and brings to each situation the appropriate actions.

E. An Integrative and Informed Thinker who:
Standard E: Is skilled at using complex reasoning processes to make meaning.

Download Maine’s Guiding Principles

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