New report highlights development of innovative competency-based education practices
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From New Hampshire to Oregon, transitioning to a competency-based education system from a traditionally time-based one lies at the core of innovative practices designed to produce high achievement for students from all income levels, across all racial and ethnic communities. This transition is not an easy one, however, and must be implemented with attention to quality so that both students and educators are fully supported in the learning process, according to The Art and Science of Designing Competencies, a report released today by CompetencyWorks.
"The purpose of this paper is to discuss how innovators in competency education develop competencies," says Chris Sturgis, the report's author. "Often this is referred to as a tuning process or reengineering process – mapping from what we want students to know and be able to do all the way backwards to the choices for curricular tasks and assessments. Our goal is to provide insights into the orientation and processes that innovators use."
The result of an ongoing conversation about competency-based teaching and learning, The Art and Science of Designing Competencies explores the process of creating competencies, as well as the challenges to their design and the learning environment necessary to making them work for teachers and their students.
The growth of competency education comes at a time of shifting policies in many states. Waivers from mandatory seat-time requirements and the development of common standards are two examples of opportunities for educators to move towards competency-based programs.
"The number one policy priority for effective education in the 21st Century must be the removal of our historic reliance on seat-time requirements," says Susan Patrick, President of iNACOL (The International Association for K-12 Online Learning). "Many countries are far outpacing the U.S. when it comes to content mastery, and building a competency-based learning environment for our students will be key to their continued success. This report is the first in a series that will provide a roadmap identifying the most important elements for building a quality competency-based system."
Download a copy of The Art and Science of Designing Competencies: http://www.competencyworks.org/resources/briefing-papers/
A webinar discussing the paper and competency education issues is scheduled for Wednesday, August 23rd at 3pm ET. Please register at http://www.inacol.org/events/webinar/special_edition.php.
For more information about CompetencyWorks or to learn more about competency-based approaches to learning, please visit http://competencyworks.org.
CompetencyWorks is supported through the generosity of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and the Donnell-Kay Foundation.
CompetencyWorks partner organizations:
International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)
iNACOL is a non-profit 501(c)(3)-membership association based in the Washington, DC area with over 4,000 members. We are unique; our members represent a diverse cross-section of K-12 education from school districts, charter schools, state education agencies, non-profit organizations, research institutions, corporate entities and other content & technology providers.
American Youth Policy Forum
The American Youth Policy Forum, founded in 1993, is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that educates and informs policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on education, workforce, and youth issues at the national, state, and local levels. We believe all youth, regardless of race, income, geographical location, or family background, should have opportunities for high quality learning in order to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for a successful career, to be a lifelong learner, and for engaged lives of citizenship.
Jobs for the Future
JFF identifies, develops, and promotes education and workforce strategies that expand opportunity for youth and adults who are struggling to advance in America today. In more than 200 communities across 43 states, JFF improves the pathways leading from high school to college to family-sustaining careers.
National Governors Association
The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) develops innovative solutions to today's most pressing public policy challenges and is the only research and development firm that directly serves the nation's governors.
MetisNet works with foundations, government, and individuals to identify the most effective ways to shape investments to catalyze social change. Our mission stems from the very root of our name – metis – a Greek word for local knowledge. Drawing on multiple perspectives, MetisNet works with clients to develop vibrant, asset-based investment strategies.
Nellie Mae Education Foundation
The Nellie Mae Education Foundation is the largest charitable organization in New England that focuses exclusively on education. The Foundation supports the promotion and integration of student-centered approaches to learning at the middle and high school levels across New England. To elevate student-centered approaches, the Foundation utilizes a three-part strategy that focuses on: developing and enhancing models of practice; reshaping education policies; and increasing public understanding and demand for high quality educational experiences. The Foundation's initiative areas are: District Level Systems Change; State Level Systems Change; Research and Development; and Public Understanding. Since 1998, the Foundation has distributed over $140 million in grants. For more information, visit www.nmefoundation.org.
The Donnell-Kay Foundation is a private family foundation aiming to improve public education and drive systemic school reform in Colorado through research, creative dialogue and critical thinking. Our focus is funding reform and state-level policy in the areas of early childhood, K-12 and higher education.