June 3, 2013 by Chris Sturgis
Go swimming or write a post for CWorks!
It’s getting warmer, and it’s time to think about what we want to accomplish this summer. For principals and teachers who don’t have a moment to themselves during the school year, we hope that you will put aside a little time to write a post for CompetencyWorks about what you learned about competency education this year so your colleagues can learn from your experiences. As always, if you have examples and resources, we can put them on the wiki.
We want you to write about what is important to you. But if you need a few ideas to get you thinking, below are some of the questions for educators and principals that have been raised during the year.
Add your questions in the comments section; maybe we can find just the right person to answer them.
- How do you manage a personalized, proficiency-based classroom? How is it different in comparison to a traditional classroom?
- How do you give students voice and choice? What do you need to do to make that happen? What is a capacity matrix?
- What do you do when a student doesn’t have the prerequisite knowledge for your class? What happens if a student just doesn’t seem to be reaching proficiency?
- What do you do when a student isn’t keeping up with the “teacher pace”?
- How do you determine if a student is proficient in a learning target? Isn’t there a lot of testing in competency-based education?
- Do you have to focus on one learning target at a time? Is there enough time to do that in a class?
- Is there anything different in how you support ELL and special education students in proficiency-based classrooms?
- How do you keep grouping from becoming tracking?
- What type of supports do educators need to succeed in a competency-based environment?
- I keep hearing about a “growth mindset.” How does this change the job of the principal and the operation of a school?
- How have you changed your operations (scheduling, budgeting, metrics, etc.) to support competency-based learning?
- Have you been seeing results? What might we expect to see in terms of student achievement and other indicators if we start using competency-based approaches?
- What are parents’ greatest concerns and how do you respond to them?
Thanks to everyone who contributes a post. You are making a huge difference by sharing your knowledge. We know transparency is one of the core values of the competency-based approached. We need to bring more and more transparency to our learning of how to implement competency-based education as well.
July 18, 2012 by Laura Shubilla
There is a fairly settled body of research that links the quality of the teacher to the success of the student. As we move into a more personalized, competency based and increasingly decentralized learning environment how do we build the competencies of adults to better support the learning of students?
For the past year, I have been a student in Harvard University’s new doctoral program in Educational Leadership (Ed.L.D). The first year involves an intense focus on one’s own “adult development” which I skeptically approached with somewhat of a “been there done that” attitude. As a leader of a fairly large non-profit, I had my share of 360 evaluations, professional development seminars, executive coaching etc. I was secure, almost cocky, in my understanding of my strengths and weaknesses and how they did or didn’t support the outcomes that I was hoping for in my own organization and more importantly for the almost 22,000 youth under our watch each year. As a leader in the sector, I had grown fatigued from all of the efforts that I made to tie the “professional development” that I was being given to the goals that I was striving to achieve. It felt like work and I had to WORK to feel personally or professionally “developed.”
But low and behold this time the journey was different and something funny happened on the way to “adult development.” For the first time in years, I reconnected with myself as an adult learner. Not the kind of adult learner who was trying to learn something to either be in compliance or to improve the various metrics on which I was being evaluated, but as an adult learner who had my own interests and passions, anxieties and questions. I was asked to actually be curious, to better understand myself, and to pursue new ways of learning that often stretched me beyond my comfort zone and towards my learning edge.
June 4, 2012 by Justin Ballou
Around this time of year, I am always reminded of one of the great things I did in life, which was graduate from college! And any of you that know or have experienced a college graduation before can attest…..it can be an extremely rewarding experience for those friends and family that have hit that milestone.
As I graduated 7 years ago, I can still remember my graduation experience. Minus the fact of my friends and I clustered together on the momentus occasion, (and one of them actually leaving their namecard on the seat when they went up to get their diploma…) the most memorable portion of that days events was the commencement speaker. He was funny, articulate, and had the ability to read the crowd to keep them in full engagement. Basically, it made for a rewarding experience as well as a fond memory….one that will carry on with me the rest of my life.
The question that I had at the time, and still remains; How did he do it? As an individual (more…)
May 21, 2012 by Shawn Cornally
I had a conference with a parent this morning. I love meeting parents and talking with students, and I try to avoid the typical rhetoric that goes along with these interactions in favor of rawness.