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A Peek At Competent Based Education


What is Competency Based Education?

Competency-based education re-aligns our education system around student learning. The conventional system emphasizes differentiation of students, whereas competency-based education enables personalization so that students get the instruction and support they need to reach proficiency on academic standards as well as lifelong learning skills.


Competency education is often mistakenly referred to as the elimination of seat-time. Eliminating seat-time without replacing it with new practices that ensure students reach proficiency may increase inequities. The time-based system must be replaced with a learning-based or competency-based system, fully aligned with students and what they need to educationally progress.


A Working Definition

In When Success Is the Only Option: Designing Competency-Based Pathways for Next Generation Learning, a working definition was proposed to guide the development of policies and practice. This is particularly important as the language varies among states, districts, and schools and includes “proficiency-” and “performance-based learning.” Later 100 innovators and leaders in competency education strengthened the working definition to describe a high-quality competency-based system. The following is the revised working definition of competency-based learning approaches:
• Students advance upon mastery.
•Competencies include explicit, measurable, transferable learning objectives that empower students.
•Assessment is meaningful and a positive learning experience for students.
•Students receive rapid, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.
•Learning outcomes emphasize competencies that include application and creation of knowledge along with the development of important skills and dispositions.

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