Author: Susan Patrick

What Kids Tell Us About Why Competency Matters

July 10, 2012 by

Ask a student about how they learn. You will get many different responses as every child is different.  From a high school student, “I want to have a choice in studying what interests me.” Other kids say, “I want to get extra help from teachers when I need it and move ahead when I am ready, not wait for everyone else.” How  do we give them different pathways to learn?

From a student in Colorado: “What if school could be more like video games? You advance when you master a level, then move to the next level.”

This last student was in a competency-based learning environment – where students can move on when they demonstrate mastery and move at their own pace.  This is how the student communicated “competency education” to adults, “what if school could be more like video games?” (more…)

Visit to Yewlands School in U.K. Highlights Focus on Daily Learning Objectives

June 19, 2012 by

During my recent visit to Europe, I was able to tour Yewlands Technology College, a STEM Academy, located in an underserved neighborhood of Sheffield. It was one of the “Building Schools of the Future” new academy schools, opened in September 2011. Yewlands was fantastic. (more…)

Learning from the EU

June 12, 2012 by

I’m just back from the EU Lifelong Learning VISCED meeting in England.  While there I had a chance to learn a bit more about the EU’s approach to competency education.

The EU Framework identifies Lifelong Learning Competencies as those that ‘all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employment’.

In the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning – A European Framework , they list 8 competencies: (more…)

Welcome to CompetencyWorks: Why We are Here

May 1, 2012 by

Over the last two years, I have been on a journey to try to make right what I think is one of the biggest policy issues driving inequity in the United States – the K-12 education system which is driven by seat-time.  This journey is to re-design K-12 education around student learning and mastery.

The policies around seat-time limit how and when a student can learn, allow students to move to the next grade level with huge gaps in their learning, and limit extended learning opportunities.  Why should it matter whether a student learns in school, out of school, online, in the girl scouts or at a museum?  What should matter is that teachers are involved in assessing students’ mastery of learning at advanced levels.  So, rather than measuring how empty the “bucket” of knowledge is – let’s work on filling the bucket with world-class knowledge and skills to empower kids from all backgrounds for a lifetime of success.  Competency education, not seat time, is a critical design requirement to enable next generation learning environments. (more…)

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