Category: Uncategorized

Do You Have Questions About Quality Principles?

December 4, 2018 by

CompetencyWorks is hosting a webinar on Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education with Chris Sturgis and Katherine Casey, December 12, 2-3pm ET. Register here.

Competency-Based Education Quality Principle #9: Ensure Responsiveness

November 30, 2018 by

This is the tenth article in a series based on the book Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education. You can find the section on Principle #9 Ensure Responsiveness on page 66. The links to the other articles can be found at the bottom of this page and will be updated as they are posted.

We don’t blink if you are at the second-grade level when you are in the fourth grade. If teachers really understand the standards and the progressions that are needed to help students move, then we can bridge the gaps. We don’t pretend anymore that students can do higher level work if they don’t have the prerequisites. It makes teaching much more complex as we are teaching students, not just going through a curriculum. Jennifer Denny, Teacher, Red Bank Elementary School, Lexington School District, SC, 2016. (more…)

A Conversation with Bob Lenz About Project-Based Learning and CBE

November 26, 2018 by

Although I’ve known of the outstanding work of the Buck Institute for Education for over 25 years, I’ve never had a chance to meet the leadership team. Thus, I was delighted to grab an hour with Executive Director Bob Lenz at iNACOL18.

The world of project-based learning (PBL) shares a common challenge with competency-based education (CBE): quality. PBL has been growing its field in a sustained way for decades, with the efforts of the Hewlett deeper learning initiatives bringing an increase of attention. CBE, with roots that stretch back into the 1960s, only started to operate as a field in 2011. In the CBE world, the quality issues are looming so large that it could cause our momentum to buckle.

One of the challenges the field of PBL faces is to get greater clarity on what high quality PBL means in a world where anything that that actively engages students can be called a project or PBL. This has direct implications for schools that are becoming competency-based, as we need to make sure all students have opportunities for deeper learning. A hands-on activity just isn’t the same as deeper learning. Thus, PBL’s quality challenge is our quality challenge.

Below are some of my takeaways from my conversation with Lenz about PBL and its intersection with CBE. (more…)

Re-Envisioning Professional Learning in Competency-Based Education

November 8, 2018 by

Educators are vital to developing and expanding competency-based education. Where competency-based education is most successful, it has been shaped and sustained by teams of innovative teacher-leaders.

Today, iNACOL and CompetencyWorks released a new report, Moving Toward Mastery: Growing, Developing and Sustaining Educators for Competency-Based Education to address these challenges head on. It describes the roles educators play in competency-based systems and the new knowledge and skills they need, presenting an aspirational vision of a teaching profession fully aligned with the culture, structures and pedagogy of competency-based education. It offers 15 strategies that leaders, educators and communities can enact to move their systems forward on the pathway toward this vision. (more…)

What Lessons Are We Learning from Maine

November 5, 2018 by

The people of Maine have been reflecting and re-setting strategies regarding proficiency-based learning since this summer when the state legislature took a step back and said that districts could return to traditional systems and diplomas or continue on the path of modernizing their education systems with proficiency-based learning.

National public reflection has begun about lessons learned from Maine’s pathway toward proficiency-based learning for other states. However, the variety of tone and framing will certainly influence the lessons that we learn. Those who write about schools are creating a narrative that stretches from “uphill battle” to “roll-back” to “failure.”

(more…)

Nov 7 Webinar on Meeting Students Where They Are

October 22, 2018 by

CompetencyWorks Webinar Series: Meeting Students Where They Are, November 7 from 3-4 ET. Join Chris Sturgis and Antonia Rudenstine and Sydney Schaef from reDesign to talk about how you can develop a student-centered approach. Register here.

CompetencyWorks Meetup at iNACOL18

October 15, 2018 by

Come meet your colleagues from across the country (and internationally) at 6 pm on Sunday, October 21 at the iNACOL18 President Reception. Look for the CompetencyWorks sign in the Davidson Ballroom/Innovation Corner. See you there!

Position and Power of Students in a Mastery-Based System

August 29, 2018 by

This article originally appeared on Springpoint’s blog The Launch Pad as part of Mastery Assessment Week. (See the original here.) It was prepared as part of Mastery Assessment Week.

Assessment in a mastery-based system helps students know where they are on their journey toward graduation. A formative approach to assessment—which promotes transparency, feedback, agency, relevance, and, ultimately student success—builds a structure in which students are true partners in their own education, empowered to engage their learning facilitators in conversations about their learning targets and individual goals. Good mastery-based systems contain assessment practices that emphasize continual growth and development of skills. But great mastery-based systems contain opportunities for student voice to play a role in those assessment practices. (more…)

Welcome to Mastery Assessment Week!

August 28, 2018 by

This article originally appeared on Springpoint’s blog The Launch Pad as part of Mastery Assessment Week. See the original here.

Mastery-based learning—also known a competency-based education (CBE)—has the potential to transform how students understand content and acquire skills. In a mastery-based system, assessing student performance goes well beyond testing knowledge. Assessment acts as a valuable learning experience in itself that also provides tangible evidence about what students can do with the skills they have built through the process of acquiring knowledge. Conversely, in a conventional educational model, assessment most often focuses on solely testing knowledge—with rewards for students who perform well on tests, and repercussions for students who do not demonstrate the same comfort with traditional assessment practices. (more…)

#MasteryWeek

August 27, 2018 by

Building on last year’s Mastery Week, Springpoint Schools and their partners are launching Mastery Assessment Week (#masteryweek)from August 27 – 31. This is a chance to focus in on what it means to have a mastery assessment system (including transparency about where students are in their learning based on specific learning objectives; opportunity to apply and demonstrate learning with common assessment criteria and performance-based assessment; multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning when a student is “not yet” there; and multiple ways to demonstrate learning).  You can hear from your colleagues around the country and share your ideas as well.According to Springpoint the week will unfold with the following activities:

Monday – What can assessment look like in a mastery-based system?

Springpoint will open the week with a welcome post that explains the mechanics of the week and highlights resources and examples around creating and refining mastery assessment practices. (more…)

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