Should the K-12 model be based on competency?
Thursday, June 14, 2018
A new report released by iNACOL, "Levers and Logic Models: A Framework to Guide Research and Design of High-Quality Competency-Based Education Systems," shows an urgent need for a competency-based framework for K-12 ed. It presents logic models to help practitioners understand how competency-based education (CBE) can impact education.
The guide also considers the contextual differences and variable of different school districts and schools. This will allow educators to implement changes better and benefit from the CBE approach.
There is a rising awareness of CBE. Schools and district administrators are realizing that they need to equip students better for the digital business world.
Students need more than competency in core academic areas and the technical skills. They need to meet demands for skills from both employers and higher education. They need to proficient in soft skills like collaboration, communication and empathy.
The core logic behind this model is simple. Learning and student progress are measured not by the number of hours they spend in the classroom but by demonstrating mastery of learning targets. The model is flexible and scalable.
It offers the necessary differentiated support based on their individual learning needs. A clear and calibrated understanding of proficiency ensures mastery of the highest possible standards.
However, there is no standard framework for this approach, which can be confusing for educators. This is where organizations like iNACOL can help.
Their reports and guidelines can help develop scalable best practices. Schools can now streamline these approaches for comparable results.
The levers and logic model from iNACOL conveys a relationship between outcomes, drivers and mediating factors. These impact the design of CBE systems.
It has four interdependent levels — the professional practice of educators, district and school systems, student experience, and culture. These logic models offer a high-quality education framework that can bring about effective change.
However, much is dependent on state and federal policies that can impact these outcomes. Support from policymakers can make the CBE approaches stronger and more sustainable.
Another thing to consider is that these are "active" learning models or personalized learning. They could demand more of a teacher’s time. Without more support and proper resources, we risk greater teacher burnouts.
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