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Aurora Institute

What’s New in Competency Education in K12 and Higher Education

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

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

K12 ResourcesScreen Shot 2014-06-23 at 5.46.08 PM and Events

In the News

  • The Des Moines Register’s article Five Trends to Look for This School Year includes student-led conferences and student setting the pace. Shawn Cornally from Iowa Big is quoted, “”Some students move much faster, and some students move much slower, but they learn it a lot better.”

I think competency-based education is one of the key lynch pins–maybe even more so than digital–in moving towards a student-centered system that we would hope for. It’s insane if you step back from it and realize that our system is a seat-time one in which you progress, regardless of what you master, and then we act surprised if students drop out…

Competency-based assessment and a growth mindset, that shows what you know and what you do, just makes all the sense in the world. Folks who are worried about that sort of an assessment being less than accountable are missing the point. If you have a fifth grade student doing trigonometry, the fifth grade test isn’t going to pick that up. In general, competency-based assessment that’s showing where people are is a much more transparent and truthful picture of what they are learning.

In another part of the interview he talks about the impact of competency education on innovation:

A competency-based learning world or mastery learning world, as Sal Khan would call it, can allow for different pathways and free us up from certain constraints, iterating really quickly and failing fast–but not failing in major, spectacular ways. It can help encourage innovation, but is fair to educators, entrepreneurs, and students involved.

Higher Education