iNACOL has just released the summary from a two day conference held this spring about what it takes to move to competency based learning for K-12 learning in the US. While challenging, the benefits of such a shift are dramatic – and the look of education could be fundamentally different.
A key is to get definitions right: performance-based learning (same as competency-based learning) has these characteristics. From the report:
- 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 timely, 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.
There will, of course, be quibbles with this - for example, why not explicitly tie learning outcomes to actual competencies needed to become, as Dana Goia once put it, “productive citizens for a free society.”