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Aurora Institute

Conversations with Authors About Competency-Based Education

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

Issue(s): Issues in Practice, Learn Lessons from the Field

When Susan Patrick and I started working together in 2010, there was very little available literature on competency-based education. You could certainly read about Benjamin Bloom in the 1960s. There was fascinating research on the classroom approach of mastery learning in the 1980s. But there we were, 30 years later, and the only thing available was Delivering on the Promise, written by some of the educational leaders who helped develop the Chugach model. Now eight years later, books on competency education and next generation learning abound (check out this blog to see all the reports that have been written). I skim them as they are published with hopes of reading them. However, they are now piled up to my waist, waiting for me to dive in to draw out every insight I can.  

So starting in March, I’m going to start tackling them as often as I can create quiet time for reading. I am not someone who reads serious or professional books on airplanes, instead preferring mysteries or odd-ball science fiction for the sole reason that when new ideas and insights start bubbling, I have sudden urges to walk around. I’m sure these reflective pieces are going to differ based on the books themselves. However, my goal is to provide a bit of an overview, highlights of what you can draw from the book, and a few ideas that engaged me in one way or another. I have heard that study groups are forming using books on competency education. Perhaps my reflecting here at CompetencyWorks can help you decide which book you want to read and why.

Sal Khan’s book was on the top of the pile, as it had just been returned after loaning it to a friend. So let’s start there tomorrow.

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