How do we provide clarity for our students on the goals we are targeting?
This session provides practical advice on the design and implementation of competencies. Participants will leave understanding what competencies are and the guidelines for identifying a good one. They will also learn how to apply those guidelines to review illustrative examples from U.S. schools, including a school dedicated to personalized mastery learning, and how to draft competencies based on state, provincial, or national standards.
What is a competency?
- Definition 1: The ability to do something successfully
- Definition 2: A cluster of related abilities, commitments, knowledge, and skills that enable a person to act effectively in a job or situation.
- Definition 3: In public schools, competency-based systems use state learning standards to determine academic expectations and define “competency” or “proficiency” in a given course, subject area, or grade level. The general goal of competency-based learning is to ensure that students are acquiring the knowledge and skills that are deemed to be essential to success in school, higher education, careers, and adult life.
Why does it matter now? (national, state shift in policy, opening up to school, system innovation)
- ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) has pushed the conversation around how states can promote competency-based learning through additional flexibility in assessment and accountability
- Knowledge Works view of ESSA: http://www.knowledgeworks.org/sites/default/files/ESSA-Opportunities-Advance-Personalized-Learning.pdf
How do I know a good one when I see it? — Design Criteria
- Student-facing language (student friendly/accessible)
- Crisp language- measurable, observable cognitive skills (do not use “understand” or “know”)
- General enough so that students can personalize based on need or interest but concrete enough to inspire action (instruction, feedback, resources)
- Aligned with rich understanding of the standard and/ or the child
How do I use them?
- Design of task and performance opportunities
- Instruction and feedback loop (conferencing 1:1; rubric; real-time & ongoing feedback)
Todays Meet Transcript: ASCDCompetency – Transcript – TodaysMeet
Westminster, Colorado: http://www.cbsadams50.org/
Public school competencies, West-Windsor Plainsboro, New Jersey: http://www.west-windsor-plainsboro.k12.nj.us/UserFiles/Servers/Server_3592819/File/21st%20Century%20Competencies.pdf
New Hampshire State competencies: http://www.education.nh.gov/innovations/hs_redesign/index.htm
Maine proficiency model: http://www.maine.gov/doe/proficiency/standards/Pyramid.pdf
Maine’s guiding principles: http://www.maine.gov/doe/proficiency/standards/guiding-principles.html
British Columbia’s core competencies: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/competencies
New Zealand competencies: http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum
Related articles and videos
Steps to help schools transition to competency-based learning: http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/07/09/steps-to-help-schools-transform-to-competency-based-learning/
The art and science of designing competencies: http://www.competencyworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/CompetencyWorks_IssueBrief_DesignCompetencies-Aug-2012.pdf
Grade levels could be a thing of the past in schools focused on competencies: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/say-goodbye-fifth-grade-k-12-schools-test-competency-based-learning/
No grades, no problem: how one high school is transforming learning: http://blogs.wgbh.org/on-campus/2015/6/17/competency-sanborn/