Eight years after releasing the field’s first working definition of competency-based education, CompetencyWorks (at the Aurora Institute, formerly iNACOL) has expanded the definition to reflect deepened understanding in the field and address the challenges of implementing student-centered learning models in K-12 education.
Competency-based education, as defined by the field’s leading experts, now has seven elements. The working definition developed in 2011 had five components. The revised and updated components express the field’s greater understanding of the essential nature of student agency in building student motivation, engagement, lifelong learning skills, and depth of knowledge.
The new definition of competency-based education is:
- Students are empowered daily to make important decisions about their learning experiences, how they will create and apply knowledge, and how they will demonstrate their learning.
- Assessment is a meaningful, positive, and empowering learning experience for students that yields timely, relevant, and actionable evidence.
- Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.
- Students progress based on evidence of mastery, not seat time.
- Students learn actively using different pathways and varied pacing.
- Strategies to ensure equity for all students are embedded in the culture, structure, and pedagogy of schools and education systems.
- Rigorous, common expectations for learning (knowledge, skills, and dispositions) are explicit, transparent, measurable, and transferable.
Read on to learn more and to download a full copy of What Is Competency-Based Education? An Updated Definition.