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Instruction is at the core of the entire educational system. The institutional elements of the education system are in place to support that fundamental enterprise: the high-quality teaching and learning that take place through rich interactions between students and their teachers.
High-quality instruction is driven first and foremost by effective teachers and educational leaders, and by rigorous learning standards.
The Maine Department of Education is working to support schools as they adopt instructional practices that further engage students and make them active participants in and directors of their learning. How schools implement the standards remains entirely a local decision.
- Early Childhood Education. Eighty-five percent of brain development happens before a child reaches age five, so instruction that takes place early in a child's life can often have the greatest impact. The Maine DOE works with a variety of partners that provide public and private pre-kindergarten care and instruction, and special-education services to preschool-age children.
- Eight Subject Areas. Maine statute defines eight subject areas in which schools are expected to focus instruction. The Department of Education website offers an overview of each area and curriculum resources for instructors.
- Proficiency-Based Learning. A growing number of Maine schools are adopting an innovative approach to student learning: one in which learning driven by the standards is the constant and time is the variable.
- Maine Learning Technology Initiative. Maine schools have led the way for more than a decade when it comes to harnessing the power of technology to make learning a customized, engaging and demanding endeavor.
- Career & Technical Education (CTE). Maine's 27 career and technical high schools offer classes that equip students with the applied skills they need to succeed in college and careers. Career and technical education offers hands-on skills training in a way that brings traditional academics to life.
- Response to Intervention (RTI). The RTI system integrates assessment and intervention within a multi-level prevention system to maximize achievement and to reduce behavior problems in all students.
- Recognizing Maine's Effective Educators. Maine's schools employ thousands of teachers and administrators who are standouts in their fields. The Department either runs or is involved in a number of programs that recognize their outstanding work with students.