Going Deeper with Personalized, Competency-Based Education

Competency-based education (CBE) is being implemented at deeper levels in more schools every year. It is a major shift from the school culture and pedagogy of the traditional K-12 model in that it is focused on ensuring all students succeed and on remedying the structural flaws of the current system.

The field has grown and matured since its nascent stages, rallying around a working definition, to one that is now continuously improving and more deeply embedding principles of design, educational equity, the learning sciences, and quality. The Aurora Institute will be at SXSW EDU to lead in-depth discussions about the evolution and expansion of CBE as a next-generation, student-centered learning model.

Between 6 and 8 percent of schools nationwide are engaging in transformation toward CBE. Districts and schools turn to it for different reasons: to develop competitive graduates, to design schools that promote what is best to help students learn, to achieve greater equity, to create a system of continuous improvement and learning, and to foster deeper learning.

Since 2012 when the Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL) began tracking related policymaking, the number of states making competency-based education possible has nearly doubled. Moreover, nearly 40 percent of Aurora’s annual symposium attendees have been working in the CBE field for 10 years or more.

The trailblazing school districts and leaders are refining their strategies and seeking to move to the next level. They are:

  • articulating models
  • creating standards
  • documenting best practices from around the globe
  • authoring implementation playbooks
  • developing tools
  • benchmarking indicators and outcomes
  • rethinking professional learning and development
  • expanding community and professional partnerships to scale

They are also coordinating to surface and tackle emerging issues as CBE implementation deepens. The leadership of Aurora Institute and its CompetencyWorks initiative will host an interactive discussion at SXSW EDU 2020 for districts at various stages of transformation. President and CEO Susan Patrick and Research Director Eliot Levine will share the updated definition of CBE and facilitate discussions around school leaders’ work and goals. The Meet Up will also feature discussion and exercises designed to support school leaders in learning about strategies and resources to help implement their highest-priority practices more deeply.

The Going Deeper with Personalized, Competency-Based Education session will take place on March 11, 2020, at 2 pm in the Austin Suite of the Austin Convention Center. Continue learning by subscribing to the Aurora Institute and CompetencyWorks newsletters, which feature regular updates from around the field.

Sponsored content and photo provided by Aurora Institute.

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