Does your high school offer Advanced Placement or IB tests? If so, you may be participating in a form of competency-based education in the higher education sector.
In his The Landscape of Competency-Based Education: Enrollments, Demographics and Affordability, Robert Kelchen includes AP and IB as a form of Prior Learning Assessment. Kelchen breaks down higher education competency-based education into two forms:
- Well-established prior learning assessments (PLA), which grant credits for content a student has previously mastered; and
- Newer competency-based coursework, where students progress toward a degree as they demonstrate mastery of new academic content.
I want to emphasize that these two forms apply to higher education. In K12, we are seeing the phrase competency education apply to everything from self-paced online curriculum to the full structural changes as advanced here at CompetencyWorks, which are designed to correct the low achievement and inequity of the traditional time-based system. We don’t think about giving credits to kindergartners who already know how to count to fifty when they enter school, instead focusing on where they are on a very long progression and making sure they are learning in their “zone” (as in, the zone of proximal development). (more…)