Tag: equity

Ways that States Are Beginning the Shift to Competency-Based Education

February 22, 2018 by

This is the seventeenth post in the blog series on the report, Quality and Equity by Design: Charting the Course for the Next Phase of Competency-Based Education.

There are many different entry points for policymakers wishing to enable the shift to a more personalized, competency-based K-12 education system in their state.

States that do not yet have any enabling policies in place may wish to take one or two incremental, initial steps to create space for new learning models, while a state that already has made some progress may be contemplating some bolder, more comprehensive steps toward transformation. We will not attempt to thoroughly discuss each entry point in this blog, however, we will highlight the promising policies most states are starting with in their journeys. The iNACOL report, Promising State Policies for Personalized Learning, goes into each of these policy levers, with examples of specific policies and practices that are active in different states.

The graphic below summarizes the different entry points that policymakers could discuss to catalyze transformation of K-12 education in their state, with varying levels of state leadership: (more…)

iNACOL Symposium Request for Presentation Proposals for Competency-Based Education

February 21, 2018 by

This year, the iNACOL Symposium will be held on October 21-24, 2018 in Nashville, TN. This year’s theme is “Driving the Transformation of Learning.”

As we prepare for the upcoming Symposium, Chris Sturgis and I are discussing the “must have” workshops and sessions at the iNACOL Symposium for the track focused on competency-based education (CBE) to help advance the field in strategic ways. We’ve asked the CompetencyWorks Advisory Board for the must-have topics for the competency-based education track at the iNACOL Symposium event in October. (Note: please add your “must have” sessions in the comments section, below).

I wanted to share a few “must have” topics generated by the CompetencyWorks Advisory Board and ask if you are an expert on these topics to please submit a proposal to speak:

  • What is CBE?: Introductory sessions that draw from multiple districts and schools to highlight variations in how elements of CBE can be designed and implemented.
  • Higher Ed & CBE: The intersection between higher education and K-12 education has many interesting areas for partnership and alignment. This might include performance-based assessment, moderating performance levels, redefining student success through the Profile of a Graduate work, addressing the needs of college admissions and transcripts and other documentation of student learning.
  • CBE Models & Designs for Equity: Generate conversations to challenge and disrupt patterns of inequity and design innovative competency-based models for equity.
  • Leading Practitioners Using CBE Quality & Equity Frameworks: Drawing on the frameworks outlined in Quality and Equity by Design (forthcoming reports on each in April – June) from the National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education, discuss the ways these frameworks are actionable, use the frameworks to build shared understanding of CBE and highlight more granular aspects of design and implementation.
  • Communicating to Your Community about Competency Education: Developing authentic and ongoing conversations with the entire community is important. What are the most effective communication strategies and messages that resonate with different audiences?
  • Innovations: There are many innovations developing in districts across the country. The best way to share your innovations is to do so with colleagues from other schools so that Symposium participants can get a richer sense of what is possible.
  • Knowledge Building: Is there something you are interested in building more knowledge about? Create a session where participants can share experience, ideas and question. Build up knowledge and share it on the CompetencyWorks blog.

(more…)

4 Threshold Concepts for Policy to Tackle in the Long Term to Support Competency Education

February 15, 2018 by

This is the sixteenth post in the blog series on the report, Quality and Equity by Design: Charting the Course for the Next Phase of Competency-Based Education.

What ideas does state policy need to address in the long-term to create the conditions for a transformation to competency-based education systems designed to ensure equity, so all students can be truly ready for success? We intend to push current thinking beyond the assumptions that perpetuate root causes of inequity and the structural issues that perpetuate injustice. We are focusing on a strategy for policy to support systems change over the long haul toward competency-based systems that ensure mastery for all students and equity for all. We hope to inspire new ideas and launch dialogue among communities and state policy leaders.

Threshold Concepts: Key Issues for Policy to Tackle for the Long-Term

Threshold concepts are important concepts for policymakers to understand so that they drive better policy and address structural gaps in our education system. Threshold concepts are “core concepts, that once understood, are needed to transform a given subject.” They can help us think differently about what is possible in an equitable future education system where all students succeed, and how to address deep-seated systems design flaws across K-12 education. Threshold concepts are not policy issues, but they deeply impact policy. In this blog, we discuss our thinking around the core, or threshold concepts, that state policymakers might think about addressing for a long-term, sustainable shift to personalized, competency-based learning.

Threshold concepts to understand before we address action steps for policy-making are: (more…)

Why True Equity in Learning Depends on Proactive, Not Reactive, Design

February 12, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at the Christensen Institute on January 25, 2018.

Innovation isn’t an outcome; it’s a process. How we approach that process will inevitably influence our outcomes.

Bearing this in mind, one of the primary challenges facing a number of efforts around education innovation—including a number of personalized learning initiatives—is that they are built upon simplified models and assumptions. (more…)

6 Strategies to Navigate System Constraints in Competency-Based Education

February 8, 2018 by

This is the fifteenth post in the blog series on the report, Quality and Equity by Design: Charting the Course for the Next Phase of Competency-Based Education.

Personalized, competency-based systems strive to meet students where they are in their learning and development, holding all students to the same high standards and helping each student reach high levels of success. This does NOT mean a return to tracking. Meeting students where they are requires strategies to reimagine and redesign our school models around the needs of the individual, rather than the efficiency of the system. Currently, there is something of an accountability paradox at play in our educational system. Namely, the very accountability system that led to much greater transparency about the performance of the education system and its inequity is also holding the traditional system that produces inequity in place.

Despite this paradox, there are six critical, interlocking structures that will enable school models to become more effectively oriented around learner needs and outcomes rather than only focusing on operational efficiencies: (more…)

Navigating the Nuances of Personalized Learning (Part 3)

February 7, 2018 by

This is the third article in my reflection on the nuances of competency education. Read posts one and two.

In this third and final reflection on how we can create deeper understanding of competency-based education and personalization, I dig into the different ways the phrase personalized learning is being used. A developmental orientation, in which we seek to explore the different emphases to create deeper understanding rather than a distinguishing one that sees these nuances as differences that confuse the field, is going to help us immeasurably in merging all of these concepts into the next generation learning system. (more…)

Navigating the Nuances of Competency Education (Part 2)

February 6, 2018 by

In the opening article, I argue that instead of thinking about competing definitions of competency-based education or personalized learning, we should approach them as different emphases. Our job then is to note the different emphasis, understand its core ideas and rationale, and then discover together if there are commonalities or perhaps gaps in understanding. Let’s start with competency-based education.

I’ve encountered four different ways that competency-based education is discussed: (more…)

Navigating the Nuances of Competency Education & Personalized Learning (Part 1)

February 5, 2018 by

For the last four months, I’ve been steeped in the work of shaping an updated understanding of what it means to have a competency-based education system. It ends up that there are in fact multiple demands for different types of communication tools from multiple stakeholders who bring multiple perspectives of what is important to emphasize. Thus, the process is much more complicated than I had originally understood. Not tearing-hair-out complicated, but definitely eye-spinning.

However, listening (does the word listen apply when sometimes the medium is a Google doc?) to people to understand not just their point but their reasoning and perspective has helped me to understand several important nuances that float through our conversations about competency-based education, personalized learning, and even blended learning. (more…)

3 Common Features of Competency-Based Systems that Meet Students Where They Are

February 1, 2018 by

This is the fourteenth post in the blog series on the report, Quality and Equity by Design: Charting the Course for the Next Phase of Competency-Based Education.

The field of education is in the midst of a dynamic process of innovation and redesign based on a stronger understanding of the learning sciences, maturation of a field of knowledge about how to best engage, motivate and build student agency, and how to use technology effectively within schools. For these reasons, the field is in the nascent stages of defining, in a concrete and comprehensive way, the distinguishing pedagogical practices that support a personalized approach to learning as compared to the one-size-fits-all of the traditional system.

In this blog, we offer examples to help practitioners operationalize a personalized approach in the academic realm. In mature competency-based schools, learners are active co-constructors of knowledge, rather than passive consumers of content. Learning is visibly and authentically connected to meaningful and important outcomes. Inquiry drives the learning process, as it does in the world beyond school. And finally, learning environments and experiences are purposefully designed to nurture the meta-cognitive, behavioral and motivational attributes of engaged, autonomous and adaptive learners. It is equally important for teachers to be thinking about where students are in terms of their ability as lifelong learners, including the ability to tap into a growth mindset, their social emotional skills, their metacognitive skills and the strength of their habits of success. (more…)

Cultural Responsiveness Starts in the Principal’s Office

January 31, 2018 by

“Everything rises and falls on leadership.” – John Maxwell

Dr. Joseph Ellison

Personalized instruction has become an increasing focus of educational conversation over the last few years. However, the conversation often fails to touch on what it means to personalize instruction in light of the great diversity found in schools across our country. Can personalized instruction be effective without some degree of cultural competence?

Educators cannot truly personalize instruction without carefully considering the “whole child” – meaning current skill level, previous instruction, socioeconomic status, and race. Yes… race! Some argue that race has no place in the conversation around personalization. I disagree. Race is a necessary component of personalization because “teachers [who] ignore the racial component of students’ identity are in effect treating their students as incomplete beings, and student performance can suffer as a result” (Milner, 2010, p. 16). I hasten to emphasize that race is NOT everything when it comes to cultural responsiveness. Effective and accurate cultural responsiveness must respond to all of the inputs in students’ lives; it must take into account the “whole child.” And, cultural responsiveness is not an “add-on” or just another classroom thing. Cultural responsiveness is part of an ever-evolving orientation and pedagogy… and a necessary component of personalized learning. (more…)

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