Competency Education in a K-16+ World

Jonathan VanderEls, Connected Principals, Nov 30, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The redefinition of learning as defined by outcomes rather than process is in full swing and there are proponents and opponents equally. I think the debate boils down to two sentences: first, competency-based education can support student learning as evidenced by good test scores (that's what this post shows), but second, is that all there is to an education? But maybe we're thinking of this incorrectly. If we can obtain the learning outcomes we desire using competency-based learning, and if (as a bonus) this can save time and money, then shouldn't we be asking what else we can do in education? Can we build community, immerse students in authentic experiences, give time for play and exploration, foster metacognitive skills? Let's call this model of learning "Competency-Plus".

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