Tag: proficiency-based

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…)

Making the Transition: 150 Years in the Making

June 11, 2012 by

Prior to moving into the nitty-gritty of competency writing, I would like to preface with a couple of statements. First off, before we can build competencies, we need to, as a group, identify what a competency really is. The dirty little secret of education, is at the heart of what I am about to tell you. So strap on your seatbelts…..make sure your tray tables are in their upright and stored position, and get ready to embark on a journey of educational intricacy…. (more…)

A Powerful Letter of Reflection and Gratitude

June 9, 2012 by

David Theoharides, Superintendent of Sanford Schools in Maine wrote a beautiful reflection in his June 7th op-ed Vision pursues ‘student-centered, proficiency-based learning‘. The piece also brilliantly served to further engage the community in the transformation towards the Sanford Vision: Learning for Life with its focus on student-centered, proficiency-based learning. (more…)

FLVS Online Curriculum Design: Best Practices for Creating Competency-Based Learning Experiences

June 6, 2012 by

The FLVS Model

In April 1994, the National Education Commission on Time and Learning published a report providing eight recommendations for improving the state of learning across the nation.

  • Reinvent schools around learning, not time.
  • Fix the design flaw; use time in new and better ways.
  • Establish an academic day.
  • Keep schools open longer to meet the needs of children and communities.
  • Give teachers the time they need.
  • Invest in technology.
  • Develop local action plans to transform schools.
  • Share the responsibility: finger pointing and evasion must end. (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…)

A Classroom Teacher’s Approach to Competency-Based Education

June 4, 2012 by

Around this time of year, I am always reminded of one of the great things I did in life, which was graduate from college! And any of you that know or have experienced a college graduation before can attest…..it can be an extremely rewarding experience for those friends and family that have hit that milestone.

As I graduated 7 years ago, I can still remember my graduation experience. Minus the fact of my friends and I clustered together on the momentus occasion, (and one of them actually leaving their namecard on the seat when they went up to get their diploma…) the most memorable portion of that days events was the commencement speaker. He was funny, articulate, and had the ability to read the crowd to keep them in full engagement. Basically, it made for a rewarding experience as well as a fond memory….one that will carry on with me the rest of my life.

The question that I had at the time, and still remains; How did he do it? As an individual (more…)

Freshman Learning Community – A Successful Model That Puts Competency-Based Grading into Action

June 1, 2012 by

The transition to ninth grade is challenging for many students. For Sanborn Regional High School students, their transition struggles pointed to several issues in the district. In 2008, the district convened a summit to consider research on the needs of these students and to review the best practices in teaming. The ninth grade teachers decided to focus on a Professional Learning Community model framed by teachers from English, Social Studies, Wellness, and Science.  Over the next three years, the team worked to develop team norms, goals, common grading practices for class work and homework, grading policies, integrated units, performance-based assessments, and communication to parents.  Their work spurred a movement in the Sanborn Regional School District to become a competency-based grading and reporting school district, which the district became officially for the 2010-2011 school year.

In the fall of 2011 under the direction of Assistant Principal Ann Hadwen, the team that had come to be known as the Freshman Learning Community (FLC) took their next big step in development. Working within the master schedule, the FLC created a school-within-a-school model (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…)

Are Colleges Dictating How We Record Student Learning?

May 30, 2012 by

Why do we continue to use grades to record student understanding?  What does a letter tell us about a student’s understanding?  Or does the letter represent understanding at all?  Many of us are guilty of recording things in a grade book just because the student did the work.  It had nothing to do with how much the student understood or was able to do.  There are also students who refused to do the work, but could demonstrate that they understood the material and scrape by with a D or a C.  Are we recording behaviors or learnings?  Should we be recording the two together as one letter grade. (more…)

DC Panel on Competency Education in Higher Education

May 29, 2012 by

The interest for competency education is growing in higher education as well as K-12.  For those of you in the DC area you might want to check out the Center for American Progress discussion June 7, 2012, 10:30am – 12:30pm (you’ll need to rsvp – admission free – and get there early ). If anyone attends, we’d love to hear the highlights of the conversation.

Here is the info from CAP. (more…)

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