Category: Analysis

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…)

10 Must-Haves to Lift Us from the Grading Quagmire

June 5, 2012 by

Those of us that were at least moderately successful in the old system may find it challenging to participate in the design and development of competency-based environments.  As challenging as new school development is, converting existing schools to a competency-based environment can be a monumental challenge.  At the top of the list of controversial items is grading—the old A-F system imprinted in our brains.

During my first year as a public school superintendent my state introduced new standards.  My team immediately began planning for a standards-based grading system.  It seemed only logical that if the state was going to test our kids against the new standards, we should provide similar feedback on a regular basis.  The introduction of new standards-based report cards resulted in a teacher revolt and a ton of parent complaints.  Fifteen years later, the district is still fighting this fight.  (more…)

WGU Paves the Way with Competency-Oriented System Architecture

May 31, 2012 by

A decade ago states might have struggled to imagine the data system they would need to support the transition from a seat-time to competency-based education structure for K-12 students. But over the past several years, an unconventional post-secondary institution has invented just such a system from scratch. Its pioneering work offers a powerful design template for K-12 technology leaders at the state level to follow.

Western Governors University (WGU) enrolled its first 30 students in 1999. Today it has over 30,000 students and an annual growth rate of roughly 30 percent for the past 5 years. Its model is unique; students learn completely online and graduate as soon as they have mastered the required competencies in their degree plans. No lecture halls, no attendance records, no homework—just a series of assessments to verify specific competencies.

A few years after its launch, WGU began implementing a complex information system to manage the enormous amount of data required to test and track competencies among thousands of students. (more…)

10 Elements Towards Eliminating the Batch-Print System

May 24, 2012 by

Competency-based learning (or standards-based or performance-based if you will) is based on two important ideas:

  1. Students should meet learning expectations—passing kids along with a weak foundation means they will never achieve higher level knowledge and skills and will be excluded from the idea economy.
  2.  Students should show what they know—it’s not about turning work in, earning point, or showing up to class, they should demonstrate in several ways that they have mastered important knowledge, skills, and abilities.

For most people that sounds logical and for twenty years we’ve been saying “it’s about learning not time” and “learning is fixed and time is variable.” Only it’s not—it’s all about time and the structures we’ve ensconced with policies, budgets, and contracts.  (more…)

A Rubric for Competency Education

May 23, 2012 by

A note from Chris Sturgis: CompetencyWorks has an incredibly great advisory board that provides valuable guidance.  This morning I received an email from Paul Leather, New Hampshire’s Deputy Commissioner of Education, with a reflection on how he has come to think about competency education:

In discussions with Mariane Gfroerer, Kim Carter, Rose Colby, and Joe DiMartino over the years, I have moved to the place of thinking of competency-based education as a developing rubric: (more…)

WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera