Category: Resource

CompetencyWorks Releases Report Updating Definition of Competency-Based Education

November 14, 2019 by

Report CoverToday, the CompetencyWorks initiative of the Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL) released What Is Competency-Based Education? An Updated Definition. The report updates the 2011 working definition, which helped to build the field and create common understandings of key elements in competency-based systems among stakeholders. The definition has been used by schools to support design and implementation, by states to establish supporting policies and a common vision, and by national organizations to provide frameworks for networks of states, districts, and schools to discuss their initiatives and build shared understanding.

The 2011 working definition was developed by more than 100 education innovators at the first National Summit for K-12 Competency-Based Education. Several years later, feedback indicated that it should be updated to reflect a deeper understanding of key issues and developments in the field. The new report presents the updated definition, which was developed with extensive input from field surveys, invited attendees at the second National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education in 2017, and a Technical Advisory Group of more than 40 experts in the field.

Updated Definition

The updated 2019 definition of competency-based education is:

  1. Students are empowered daily to make important decisions about their learning experiences, how they will create and apply knowledge, and how they will demonstrate their learning.
  2. Assessment is a meaningful, positive, and empowering learning experience for students that yields timely, relevant, and actionable evidence.
  3. Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.
  4. Students progress based on evidence of mastery, not seat time.
  5. Students learn actively using different pathways and varied pacing.
  6. Strategies to ensure equity for all students are embedded in the culture, structure, and pedagogy of schools and education systems.
  7. Rigorous, common expectations for learning (knowledge, skills, and dispositions) are explicit, transparent, measurable, and transferable.

(more…)

Competency-Based Education at the iNACOL Symposium

October 22, 2019 by

Announcement of 2019 iNACOL SymposiumThere will be so many great sessions at next week’s iNACOL Symposium that we’ll all be making hard choices about what to attend. Even if you won’t be there this year, reviewing the offerings can help you learn about important issues in the field, people who are doing what you want to do, and new online resources and publications.

This post lists the sessions in the competency-based education strand so you can start thinking about what to attend. Other strands such as diversity, leadership, personalized learning, school redesign, and systems transformation also have strong content relevant to competency-based education. You can review the sessions across all strands here.

Tue 10:00 am – Building Understanding of Competency Education and Changing Grading Practices. Are competencies and standards the same? How do you assess competencies? Why do we create rubrics and convert them to points? Should measurement of learning be punitive? In this session, we will dive deep into these questions by providing an alternative approach to traditional grading. Through a series of activities, participants will engage with the Learning What Matters competency model and leave the session with a fresh perspective on how six schools in the Building 21 network assess students. (Presenters: Thomas Gaffey, Sandra Moumoutjis)

Tue 11:15 am – Pitfalls, Successes, and Lessons Learned from a District’s 7-Year Journey to Implement Competency-Based Education. Kenowa Hills Schools will share the district’s 7-year journey in implementing a modified Marzano High Reliability Schools Framework focusing on: (1) School culture and climate, (2) Guaranteed and viable curriculum and essential standards, (3) Gradual Release of Responsibility instructional framework, (4) Standards-Based Grading and Learning Management Systems, and (5) Personalized systems and processes. The district will share practical implementation pitfalls, successes, and lessons learned during their journey. (Presenter: Mike Burde)

Tue 2:15 pm – The Future Now is Kettle Moraine: Learning Competencies Not Learning Standards. Hear about the journey of Kettle Moraine School District as they moved from curriculum-based instruction to standards-based instruction and are now utilizing competency-based learning. Leaders from elementary through high school will share the lessons learned, paradigm shifts needed and resources used to foster the shift to competency-based learning. Resources shared will help participants determine readiness to make a shift and plan for their journey to a competency-based learning system. (Presenters: Laura Dahm, Kevin Erickson, Theresa Ewald, David Tong, Eric Moore, Katherine Bihr)

Tue 4:00 pm – Competency-Based High School Redesign: Common Pitfalls and How To Plan For Them. Using the experience of Kankakee High School, which undertook a transformational school redesign effort in the Fall of 2018, we will analyze five especially problematic implementation challenges, their responses, and the resulting lessons learned. There will be an emphasis on applying these lessons in the planning stages of a CBE implementation. Participants will leave with an understanding of how they are likely to be challenged in these five domains and practical ways to address them head-on. (Presenters: Brent Johnston, Chip Linehan, Felice Hybert, Sandra Moumoutjis)

Tue 4:00 pm – Moving Beyond GPA: How Competency-Based Schools Are Using the Mastery Transcript to Drive Equity and Engagement. The Mastery Transcript Consortium is a growing collective of hundreds of high schools working together to design and implement a model of crediting and transcript generation that includes Mastery Credits and attached evidence of learning (instead of grades) for both content areas and skills critical to success in college, career, and life. This participatory session will engage attendees in an interactive, hands-on, co-design session of the Mastery Transcript. (Presenters: Stacy Caldwell, Mike Flanagan, Patricia Russell)

Wed 10:00 am – 2nd Generation State and District Competency Sets: Reimagining Competency Sets as Guideposts to Prepare Learners for a Rapidly Shifting, Complex Future. Are the competency frameworks in your district or state pointing the way towards a future that requires interdisciplinary problem-solving, creativity, adaptability, and leadership? CBL pioneers were pushed against the limitations of the industrial education model: annualized courses, age-based cohorts, seat-time, etc. Their efforts created opportunities for us to begin designing 2nd generation competency frameworks, that transcend the limitations of content-standards. (Presenters: Sydney Schaef, Antonia Rudenstine) (more…)

Competency-Based Education Across America

October 17, 2019 by

2019 Snapshot of CBE State PolicyUpdated: October 2019.

iNACOL’s 2019 map shows the many states that have taken steps forward in enabling and investing in competency-based education. To highlight this progress, all of the CompetencyWorks blog posts from our site visits and interviews in 26 states are listed below. Schools, districts, and support organizations have used these inspirational accounts of local reforms to inform deeper competency-based learning and systems change in their own settings.

Alaska

Chugach School District (2019)

Part 1 – Rethinking Grade Levels and Age Groupings at the Whittier Community School

Part 2 – Bringing Parents Into Competency-Based Schools

Part 3 – Pathways, Pacing, and Agency Are Intertwined

Part 4 – Sustaining and Sharing Cultural Heritage at the Tatitlek Community School

Chugach School District (2015)

Report – Chugach School District: A Personalized, Performance-Based System

Part 1 – Explorations in Competency Education

Part 2 – Driven by Student Empowerment: Chugach School District

Part 3 – Chugach School District’s Performance-Based Infrastructure

Part 4 – Chugach Teachers Talk about Teaching

Part 5 – Ownership, Not Buy-In: An Interview with Bob Crumley, Superintendent Chugach School District

Part 6 – Chugach School District: Performance-Based Education in a One-Room School House

Part 7 – Teaching through the Culture: Native Education in a Performance-Based System

Part 8 – Performance-Based Home Schooling

Highland Tech Charter School (2014)

Part 1 – Highland Tech Charter School – Putting it All Together

Part 2 – Advice From Highland Tech Students

Arkansas

Springdale School District (2015)

Innovation Springing Up in Springdale

Student-Focused Learning in Springdale (2017)

Part 1 – Springdale, Arkansas: A Tradition of Innovation and Future of Opportunity

Part 2 – Building Learning Momentum at Springdale’s School of Innovation

Part 3 – Finding Time and Providing Support for Student-Driven Learning

Part 4 – Encouraging Learning Risks and Growth

California

Da Vinci Schools (2018)

Part 1 – Innovation in the Air at Da Vinci Schools

Part 2 – Conversations about Learning at Da Vinci

Part 3 – RISE (Revolutionary Individualized Student Experience)

Barack Obama Charter School (2013)

Ingenium Schools: A Big City Competency-Based School

Lindsay Unified High School  (2015)

Part 1 – Six Trends at Lindsay Unified School District

Part 2 – Preparing Students for Life….Not Just College and Careers

Part 3 – An Interview with Principal Jaime Robles, Lindsay High School

Part 4 – An Interview with Brett Grimm: How Lindsay Unified Serves ELL Students

Part 5 – It Starts with Pedagogy: How Lindsay Unified is Integrating Blended Learning (more…)

What’s New in K-12 Competency-Based Education?

September 17, 2019 by

What's New ImageTeaching and Learning

  • Elevating Student Voice in Education, a new report from the Center for American Progress, provides an overview of eight approaches that teachers, school leaders, and policymakers can use to incorporate student voice—such as democratic classroom practices, student action research, and student-led conferences. Learning sciences research suggests that increasing student voice can increase student motivation, engagement, and learning.
  • In Learner Variability in the Classroom through Micro-credentials, Wendy Xiao of Digital Promise shares a powerful strategy for developing skills to personalize student learning. A case example and video describe an elementary teacher who is building skills to support student self-regulation, an essential personal success skill.
  • The Oakland Unified School District promotes deep community partnerships that lead to authentic, project-based learning. Young Whan Choi, manager of performance assessments for OUSD, describes school and district strategies to enlist community partners to engage deeply with teachers at all stages of project development.

iNACOL Events and Publications

  • The iNACOL Symposium will take place at the Palm Springs Convention Center in California.

    The iNACOL Symposium will be held on October 28-31, 2019 in Palm Springs, California, with practitioners, policymakers and researchers learning together to shape the future of education. Attendees will gain access to expertise in personalized, competency-based learning. The symposium includes more than 200 sessions tailored to attendees’ professional learning needs.

  • iNACOL presents its annual Strategic Reflection on the Field of Competency-Based Education. Join this webinar to gain an understanding of developments in the field, areas of growth, emerging issues, and insights to inform the future direction of competency-based education.
  • iNACOL released Modernizing the Teaching Workforce for Learner-Centered, Competency-Based, Equity-Oriented Education, an issue brief that highlights state policy opportunities to modernize professional learning for educators in a K-12, competency-based education system.

Resources

(more…)

The New Hampshire Learning Initiative: A Model for Catalyzing State-Wide Transformation

July 18, 2019 by

First NHLI Promotional PosterThe New Hampshire Learning Initiative serves as a catalyst to oversee and support scaling of New Hampshire’s work toward an integrated, competency-based education system. I recently attended their annual Powerful Learning Conference, where hundreds of school and district personnel attended keynotes, sessions, workshops, and daily “team time” (with school teams or groups of individual attendees) to advance their practices related to competency-based education.

The annual conference is one of many initiatives that NHLI provides throughout the year to support transformation at the school, district, and state levels. Their work is closely tied to New Hampshire’s Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) Pathways Network. PACE provides an opportunity for districts to administer locally developed performance assessments that support deeper learning. These assessments are designed to be a meaningful and positive learning experience for students—a key component of competency-based education. The PACE system is approved by the U.S. Department of Education through its Innovative Assessment Pilot program, section 1204 of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

NHLI is explicit that both their work and PACE are not just about assessment and accountability, however. As shown in the figure below, PACE also emphasizes project-based learning, teacher leadership, competency design, student agency, student exhibitions, extended learning opportunities (NH’s term for out-of-school learning activities), and work study practices (NH’s term for lifelong learning skills such as collaboration and self-direction).

NH PACE Pathways GraphicNHLI leads a diverse set of initiatives that provide a series of “on-ramps” to deeper implementation of each of these elements of quality competency-based education. Just as CBE promotes meeting students where they are, NHLI’s on-ramps meet educators and administrators where they are. And sometimes “where they are” includes being unclear on what performance assessments are, fearful of starting because of obstacles to full implementation, or concerned that not all teachers or school committee members are on-board.

The different on-ramps enable any school to become part of the PACE network regardless of where they are. This fits well with New Hampshire’s status as a national leader and innovator in competency-based education. Three of NHLI’s many initiatives are described below, and could inform efforts in other states seeking to deepen their competency-based practices. (more…)

What’s New in K-12 Competency-Based Education?

June 11, 2019 by

Research

  • The 74 reviews two recent studies on personalized learning and explains the challenges in researching the effectiveness of personalized learning.
  • Growth Mindset – A recent MRI study gives some of the first biological evidence that presenting math in a way that encourages a growth mindset changes not just students’ motivation to learn, but the the way their brains tackle problems.

Resources

  • iNACOL recently conducted an Introduction to K-12 Competency-Based Education webinar that answered the most frequently asked questions about this system of education designed to equitably ensure that all students develop the skills they will need for college, career, and life. The webinar recording and slide deck are available here.
  • Global Online Academy has launched the Competency-Based Learning Toolkit, a design tool that helps teams of educators shift to activities that are skills-driven, performance-based, and co-designed with students.

Equity

Professional Learning – Some upcoming opportunities include:

  • The New Hampshire Learning Initiative is offering its annual Powerful Learning Conference, July 9-11 in Bow, NH, to celebrate innovative projects from across the state on topics such as competency instruction, learning progressions, and embedded work study practices.
  • The Personalized Learning Summit will take place in Chanhassen, Minnesota on August 5-6, 2019. It is an opportunity to learn about culturally responsive teaching, explore feedback and assessment, and gain tools and resources to more fully realize student-centered learning.
  • The Competency-Based Education Summit will take place October 9-11 in Westminster, Colorado. Westminster Public Schools is a large district implementing a competency-based system. The summit will support educators in learning how to do the same.

(more…)

Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education

December 17, 2018 by

Glenn Whitman and Ian Kelleher begin Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education (2016) with a bold and inspiring statement: “Teachers are brain changers” (p. 1). Thus begins their exploration into how teachers can leverage Mind Brain Education (MBE) strategies to design enhanced learning experiences for students. Early on, Whitman and Kelleher, both teachers at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, make a powerful analogy between teachers and doctors to relate the importance of keeping up on research and innovations in practice. As medical patients, we would not choose a doctor whose only treatment plan consisted of the use of leeches, as this would indicate both an impoverished ‘tool kit’ and a lack of knowledge (although leeches are still used in innovative ways). Likewise, the authors of this book argue that we would not want teachers working with our students who are not keeping up with pedagogical advances. It is simply not good enough to do things the we always have just because it has worked for us in the past. (more…)

Want to Become Competency-Based? Three Books to Light the Way

December 5, 2018 by

This is the final article in the series Conversations with Authors About Competency-Based Education. Links to the entire series can be found at the bottom.

Districts and schools are choosing different entry points for their path toward personalized, competency-based education. Remember, we aren’t referring to technologically driven solutions. When we say personalized, competency-based we are referring to drawing from the research on learning to create schools that strive to help students reach college and career readiness while discovering their passions and potential.

There is no one implementation guide on how to move forward, but thankfully there are three great books that can outline a number of the steps. (more…)

November 2018 CompetencyWorks Catch-Up

December 3, 2018 by

Here are the highlights from November 2018 on CompetencyWorks. Happy reading. And let us know if you have questions you want us to delve into!

CASE STUDIES AND SITE VISITS

Aotearoa New Zealand

Mill River Unified Union School District

(more…)

What’s New in Competency Education

November 30, 2018 by

Today’s What’s New is dedicated to the resources that have been released relating to several capacities that are important to implementing personalized, competency-based education.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Beloved Community has released DEISI: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Standards and Indicators. DEISI is a comprehensive benchmarking tool that assesses diversity, equity, and inclusion in every function of an organization. DEISI provides over 150 customized indicators to assess governance, operations, program/pedagogy, adult culture and, where applicable, student culture. Equity in Schools indicators are linked to specific stakeholder groups: students, parents/family, community partners, vendors/subcontractors, faculty/staff, leadership, and Board. Equity at Work indicators are specific to their stakeholder groups: target participants/clients, community partners, B2B vendors, employees, management, and trustees. Depending on the school or business structure, DEISI also includes indicators that assess DEI in scholarships, grants, employee assistance benefits, and corporate giving. (more…)

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