Transforming Learning through Competency-Based Education

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  • Source:
    State Education Standard, v21 n2 p23-29 May 2021.
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  • Publication Type:
    Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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    • Abstract:
      Teaching and learning are changing drastically in the wake of COVID-19, and once-skeptical K-12 system and school leaders are increasingly responding to students' academic needs with competency-based learning models. State boards of education and other state leaders should examine the rationale and structures that underpin these student-centered solutions and work to transform their systems. State boards that are serious about preparing students for success in the future economy should embrace whole-system transformation, realizing that there can be no truly student-centered systems without significant shifts in policy and practice. Pedagogy, structures, and culture must shift from the traditional ranking and sorting of students, which leaves many with large gaps in learning. Competency-based education instead relies on empowering students' ownership over goals and learning while ensuring teachers identify needs, pinpoint gaps, use data, and intervene immediately to address student needs. In this article, Susan Patrick explains what competency-based education is, what a competency-based system looks like, and how states across the country are using a variety of policy levers to advance policies aimed at supporting competency-based education pathways. Lastly, Patrick highlights evidence that supports the effectiveness of individual practices that collectively comprise high-quality, competency-based education.
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    • Education Level:
      Elementary Secondary Education
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