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Aurora Institute

Press Release

Teachers as Lifelong Learners: New Research on Professional Development and Practice for Educators

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, CompetencyWorks released Moving Toward Mastery: Growing, Developing and Sustaining Educators for Competency-Based Education, a new report that re-envisions professional practice, learning and development for educators in competency-based education.

As school districts transition to new, more powerful student-centered learning models, it’s critical that educators leading the transformative practice are equipped for their new roles. Moving Toward Mastery describes a teaching profession that is equity-oriented, learning-centered and lifelong; it recommends 15 strategies that can help school districts successfully make this paradigm shift.

Building off examples of effective teaching, professional development and practice across the nation, the new report explores how communities can work together to prompt and sustain complex systems change of moving both students and teachers from a one-size-fits-all approach to education to one in which all students and all teachers can succeed.

“Creating high-quality professional learning is essential for sustaining transformative systems change to ensure all learners build the knowledge and skills for future success,” said Susan Patrick, iNACOL (@nacol) President and CEO and CompetencyWorks Co-Founder. “Where competency-based education has been most successful, it has been driven from the ground up by innovative teams of educators; its progress and growth relies on educator leaders’ hard work and commitment.”

Educators play a vital role in the design, development and growth of competency-based education systems. They guide the development of new instructional practices, manage change processes and partner with communities to facilitate collaborative learning. Growing and continually improving competency-based education across the nation requires increasing the number of educators who are competency-based practitioners and improving instructional quality at scale.

“There is tremendous hunger and enthusiasm for this conversation about dramatically shifting professional practice,” says author Katherine Casey, Founder and Principal of Katherine Casey Consulting. “Those of us who envision more equitable education grounded in competency-based practice are called upon to develop systemic, sustainable approaches to improving and aligning teaching. While this will entail changes in policy and practice, it must also take root in our communities and classrooms. It must engage educators as learners and agents of change rather than passive recipients of new policy or practice and seek to move educators’ hearts as much as their minds.”

Download a full copy of Moving Toward Mastery: Growing, Developing and Sustaining Educators for Competency-Based Education here.

For more information about CompetencyWorks, a project of iNACOL dedicated to advancing K-12 competency education, please visit

About CompetencyWorks

CompetencyWorks is an online resource dedicated to providing information and knowledge about competency education in the K-12 education system. Drawing on lessons learned by innovators and early adopters, CompetencyWorks shares original research, knowledge and a variety of perspectives through an informative blog with practitioner knowledge, policy advancements, papers on emerging issues and a wiki with resources curated from across the field. CompetencyWorks also offers a blog on competency education in higher education so that the sectors can learn from each other and begin to align systems across K-12, higher education and the workplace. Visit the website and follow CompetencyWorks on Twitter: @CompetencyWorks.

About iNACOL

The mission of iNACOL is to drive the transformation of education systems and accelerate the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all. Visit our website, like us on Facebook, connect with us on Linkedin and follow us on Twitter

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