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Aurora Institute

What’s New in K-12 Competency-Based Education?

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Ashley Jones

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

What's new! star graphicA Must Read: Check out this article by Beth Rabbitt on Personalized Learning called Analysis: Teaching, Technology, Transformation — 5 Ways to Talk (and Think) About Personalized Learning

New Resources

Student Success

  • This iNACOL blog explores the importance of creating definitions of success that reflect communities’ aspirations for their students’ futures.
  • A recent iNACOL blog explores how states can begin to redefine success through graduate profiles. 

Teaching and Learning 

  • Multicultural awareness boosts teaching competency, but is an uneven resource among future teachers: Student teachers with more multicultural awareness foster more positive classroom environments for their students, finds a new study by NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development and published in the Journal of Teacher Education.
  • This article looks at how using a theory of how people learn can allow teachers to more effectively plan their pedagogy.


Reflections from the 2017 iNACOL Symposium

  • The path to personalized learning is not straight, says a Hechinger Report article from an iNACOL Symposium panel.
  • CZI’s Bror Saxberg presents the 6-Minute Master’s in Cognitive Psychology.

 What is Competency-Based Education?

  • Emily Kirk defines competency-based learning and discusses how to incorporate the techniques into your classroom, school and district.
  • This blog captures a sampling of competency-based education definitions and difference makers, citing the iNACOL and CompetencyWorks definition as the most widely used.



  • Here’s an article on the new report, Charting New Frontiers in Student-Centered Learning, issued by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), the Connecticut Commission for Educational Technology (CET) and Innovation Partners America, an education consultancy.
  • Members of the Board of Education in Greenwich discussed new graduation policies that require students to demonstrate mastery.




  • Watch this video from the Michigan Department of Education describing personalized, competency-based education.
  • Here’s an article from KnowledgeWorks on Kenowa Hills, a learning community that is working towards transitioning to a personal mastery system.

New Hampshire