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Meghan Cureton

3 Principles to Follow for Competency-Based Education | GOA - 1 views

  • When it comes to competency-based learning (CBL), we must tend to our school cultures as deeply and thoughtfully as we tend to our classrooms.
  • Adopting CBL means more than a shift in pedagogy; it means committing to a mindset and system that prioritize learning over time, skills over content, and relevant, holistic assessment over high-stakes testing.
  • To build this culture, they focus on three essential elements.
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  • 1. Learning is a Positive, Inclusive Experience
  • Students set and pursue individualized learning goals and have in-person and online academic support options.
  • Reassessment is an academic norm.
  • Students pursue their passions.
  • Conflict resolution is built on restorative justice, not traditional disciplinary techniques.
  • 2. Students Lead Learning
  • A common thread: Culture and program should be deeply connected, specifically in how communities support student agency.
  • Every student and adult in the community creates, pursues, and updates a Learning Plan; every student has an advisor; and public exhibitions of learning that involve school and community members are the standard summative assessments.
  • 3. Professional Culture is the Foundation of School Culture
Meghan Cureton

NAIS - One School's Approach to Equitable Grading - 1 views

  • a student’s grade could be more reflective of the teacher’s approach to grading than the student’s academic performance.
  • because many of the teachers’ grading practices rewarded or punished students for every assignment, activity, and behavior in the classroom, students often were less willing to take risks and make mistakes, and cared less about learning
  • But Previna didn’t blame the teachers. After all, none of them—herself included—had ever received any training or support with how to grade
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  • She started by sharing a few articles about the weaknesses of common grading practices with the entire middle school faculty
  • Then she invited all faculty to research, examine, and imagine ways to align grading to their vision for progressive and equitable education
  • first learned how many common grading practices were created during the Industrial Revolution and are based on century-old beliefs about teaching, learning, and human potential that have long since been debunked. By continuing to use these practices, we contradict our current understanding about effective teaching and learning
  • After studying the research about grading and learning about research-supported grading practices that are more accurate, more bias-resistant, and develop intrinsic motivation in students, the pilot group of middle school faculty members was excited to start using them. These more equitable practices included using alternatives to the 0–100 scale, not including behavior in the grade, ending extra credit, using rubrics, and developing a culture of retakes and redos
  • Students were less stressed, and classroom environments felt more relaxed and supportive of learning.
  • Grade inflation decreased
  • Grades are more accurate and less biased
  • Students’ motivation increased
  • Changes to grading practices leverage other aspects of programmatic reimagining
Meghan Cureton

Do historians miss the ideals of assessment, as some have suggested? - 0 views

  • Grading Smarter, Not Harder
  • Their recent finding that many students don’t learn critical thinking in undergraduate history courses -- a challenge to history’s sales pitch that its graduates are finely tuned critical thinkers.
  • A panel of professors here urged a sizable crowd of colleagues to embrace not just grades but formative, ongoing assessment to gauge student learning or lack thereof in real(er) time.
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  • LASER, an acronym for Love history, Acquire and analyze information, Solve difficult problems, Envision new explanations, and Reveal what you know. Sourcing work, which Calder called a “threshold concept” in history, means asking students to evaluate the reliability of various historical texts. Who made it? When? Why? What value does it hold for historians, if any?
  • letter grades “do little to differentiate the level of student effort or the quality of student work or student growth over the course of a semester or program,”
  • to the idea of “transparency,” which they all agreed begins with articulating clear student learning goals -- for themselves and their classes.
  • Whatever the activity or assessment, Mintz said it needs to be aligned with a particular learning objective. Research suggests that the most effective activities and assessments when it comes to student learning are considered “authentic,” or those that mirror professional practice and address some meaningful question,
  • Project and performance-based assessments are much more likely to provide a “valid measure of student proficiencies and higher-order thinking skills than are multiple choice or short-answer questions,” Mintz continued. And evaluation needs to be based on a detailed rubric, he said, suggesting that students may help create these rubrics.
  • But “a paradigm shift is occurring in higher education,” Mintz said. “We all know this. We’re sifting from teaching to learning, shifting from a sink-or-swim mentality to a mentality where we have obligation to bring all students to minimum viable level of competency.” That is regardless of institution type, he said.
  • think of themselves as "learning architects" whose meaningful "forward-looking" assessment will be a "true learning opportunity" for students.
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    HT @cmtbasecamp
T.J. Edwards

The 10 most in-demand skills of 2019, according to LinkedIn - 2 views

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    MT: Do these show up in our course catalogs or learning outcomes?
Meghan Cureton

Learning's Not a River - Dan Cristiani - Medium - 0 views

  • the word ‘course’ is related to the running of a river
  • Its hallmarks include rapidity, unidirectionality, linearity, and dependency.
  • when a student takes a course, she is being led at pace down a narrow path in one direction.
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  • The overwhelming bulk of our personal growth happens in open environments, without constraints or schedules, and often without guidance.
  • Scholarly research on implicit learning and anecdotal studies of self-taught experts (musicians, chefs, athletes, and more) speak to the power of unstructured study.
  • In truth, courses are not how we organize learning; they are how we organize assessment.
  • what are the alternatives?
  • Perhaps schools would do well to offer up learning experiences rather than formalized courses in all grades
  • Schools can honor learning opportunities that exist outside of traditional coursework.
  • Schools can look for ways to decouple reporting on student performance from arbitrary time frames.
  • how can we create space for students who need more time to consolidate their learning, to master a curriculum or set of skills?
  • Administration and faculty should be willing to acknowledge that courses offer venues for intellectual and personal growth but do not have a monopoly on it.
Meghan Cureton

Six Fixes for Proficiency-Based Learning « Competency Works - 0 views

  • Proficiency-based learning, at its core, is about redesigning the learning and teaching system of America. Instead of basing learning on how much time a student spends, it bases learning on what students can demonstrate—exactly the same as every other system students will encounter in the world outside of school.
  • In addition, schools should continue to share information pertaining to course grades and start to share information regarding student attainment of specific standards, including course-crossing skills such as problem solving, creativity, and analysis. While we would recommend that the course grades continue to use A-F or 0-100 scales, shifting to a 1-4 scale on the standards probably provides better insight for everyone involved. In this way, parents, students, and educators will know how students are doing within the structures of a class and how students are doing in regard to specific standards. This both/and approach will provide more information that can then be used to promote better learning.
  • Keep cohorts of kids together as they progress through their learning. Teachers can vary the learning strategies for various cohorts of students, supporting some students to dig deeper into various standards while others realize initial achievement—and then bringing everyone back together again to start the next unit of learning. Further, as research on learning has demonstrated, learning is a social endeavor, not meant to be undertaken alone. A cohort model supports this research.
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  • Hold students accountable to key and important standards, designating a small handful of “graduation standards” while using the other standards in the Common Core or various state standards to develop curriculum, guide instruction, and build classroom assessments. This strategy focuses learning on key and endurable concepts, skills, and themes; ensures that instructional support is targeted at the most important learning; and pushes students to think about and analyze ideas deeply rather than memorize an unwieldly number of discrete facts.
  • Educators need to clearly define top levels of performance and provide explicit expectations and opportunities for students to achieve these levels of learning. While we should not expect students to “exceed” standards in all cases, educators should require students to do so in areas of particular interest and aptitude for students.
  • Schools must establish both incentives and consequences for critical work habits such as time management and meeting deadlines. Rather than ignore these, they must teach, model, assess, and report them separately and eliminate the practice of controlling behavior by reducing grades. We have seen numerous effective strategies where late work requires coming in after school, not attending co-curricular activities, or mandatory guided study halls, to name a few examples.
Meghan Cureton

The Art of Reflection | Edutopia - 0 views

  • Portfolios allow students to regularly reflect on their learning process—deepening their connection to content.
  • For portfolios to be truly valuable to both students and teachers, they need to provide insight into not only what students created as a representation of their learning, but also how and why they created it. If the ultimate goal is to develop students as learners,  they need an opportunity to make connections to the content as well as the overarching learning objectives.
  • “By capturing student learning progress and performance in the moment… we can bring learning to life.”
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  • Progress and Performance Portfolios
  • students can curate a body of work that represents their progress as well as their performance to show their thinking throughout their learning experiences.
  • when we encourage students to capture their thinking on a daily basis, reflection is no longer merely a task at the end of a project.
  • Teachers can also leverage visible thinking routines to scaffold student reflection.
  • As educators, our challenge is ensuring that students have an opportunity to engage in reflection such that they create a meaningful product to actually visit (and learn from) again and again.
T.J. Edwards

What IS the difference between competencies and standards? | reDesign - 2 views

  • Competencies, on the other hand, tend to emphasize the application of skills, knowledge and dispositions rather than content knowledge.
  • Competency-based models approach content as the backdrop, while putting essential skills and dispositions front and center. In this way, content serves as the context for practicing and demonstrating “transferable” competencies that can be applied in different contexts.
  • In competency-based models, the entire system must change. Students advance upon mastery  when they are ready, not when an arbitrary academic calendar suggests that they should be.
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  • Optimally, competencies are broad enough that student pathways and demonstrations of proficiency can be vastly different, organized to encourage and nurture student passions and questions.
  • Competencies sit above standards in terms of grain size.
  • competencies tend to encompass an interrelated set of skills, knowledge, aptitudes, and/or capacities.
  • competencies are often constructed as groupings of related skills or attributes that are purposefully designed to be explicit, measurable, transferable, and empowering to students
  • Competencies define skills that are practiced and developed continuously. They are not “one and done,” like many standards, which are course-based and attached to specific grade levels or bands.
  • in truly competency-based systems, PLDs are not attached to specific grade levels
  • we believe strongly that we must guard against tying PLDs to age-based grades or cohorts.
  • PLDs are guideposts to mastery
  • When learning outcomes are defined in terms of the application of skills or the synthesis and creation of new knowledge, we’re then talking about a much more sophisticated assessment type
  • competence is about successful application of skills and knowledge to achieve a particular purpose, not simply to show basic levels of understanding
  • In a true competency-based system, students can’t fail. Instead, students receive concrete and specific feedback on their work, and are provided with opportunities for additional practice and support in order to develop and demonstrate growth in their competencies.
  • Mastery-based grading and promotion policies are radically different in competency-based systems because promotion is based on mastery of specific skills, not on completion of courses made up of arbitrary and highly varied bundles of content, skills, and concepts.
  • As competency-based education gains ground in formal K-12 schooling, there is a very real chance that the movement could lose the “spirit” of its intent and become yet another, albeit more refined, form of standards-based learning
  • In competency-based models, performance level descriptors (PLDs) clarify the developmental journey from novice-to-expert or to "mastery."
  • Quite differently, competency-based models reach back centuries, with early apprenticeship learning that created pathways for mastery and gainful employment. Think: Medieval craft guilds, masonry, baking, carpentry, shoemaking.
Bo Adams

NAIS - The Learning Curve: How We Learn and Rethinking the Education Model - 0 views

  • Unlike Semmelweis, whose theory about the need for cleanliness was rejected because it lacked the scientific support that Louis Pasteur’s germ theory would eventually provide, today we have ample research that suggests a mismatch between learners and schools—a mismatch between how people learn and how educators think they learn.
  • emotion and cognition are intertwined and inseparable
  • “Emotion is the rudder for thought,”
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  • We think and learn about things that matter to us, that are emotionally relevant because we perceive them as important to our physical or social survival and well-being.
  • Motivation, engagement, perseverance, creativity, optimism, resilience—pretty much all the so-called “soft skills”—are rooted in emotion.
  • If students’ programs of study include significant, meaningful opportunities for them to follow their expanding and changing interests during their many years in school,  motivation and perseverance will spontaneously combust because, as some students told me, “my interest and involvement in my studies became personal. I felt like my school had meaning, like there was purpose.”
  • regression is essential to learning because each time the learner rebuilds the network, the more stable and automatic it becomes. Regression is not failure, although it is often treated as such.
  • natural process of learning—building, regression, rebuilding
  • So what matters to students? What are they learning in school that forces them to focus on what matters to adults?
  • Because emotional goals motivate and direct people’s thoughts and behavior, as Immordino-Yang suggests, understanding students’ goals can provide insight into what they are likely to learn and help educators understand how they might change their practices
  • Engagement in school does not always reflect engagement in the sort of deep, meaningful learning—developing intellectual skills and conceptual understanding—that educators value.
  • how to rethink school designs and create a new conceptual model for schools—a model that combines and finds an effective balance among the goals that adults have for students and the needs that students have for themselves, a balance between what matters to students and what matters to adults.
  • more effective model will offer real opportunities for students to pursue personally meaningful interests and questions
  • we don’t need to try to make all students masters of all disciplines.
  • Instead of insisting that all students collect identical promotion and graduation credits by meeting minimal standards to “pass” anywhere from five to seven courses each year in discrete, unrelated subjects, educators might be more successful ensuring that all students work each year on a body of specific essential skills—perhaps communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving, which are getting so much attention today—that can be learned while working in any subject area.
  • Some of the changes that make this new model possible involve significantly reducing the number of traditionally required courses, creating individualized rather than rigidly standardized courseloads, giving students more control of the subjects they study, and establishing graduation requirements based on skill development.
Meghan Cureton

transforming_teaching_learning_and_assessment.pdf - 1 views

  • T o make space for learner voice and to promote learner agency, teachers must set up learning environments that stimulate active learner engagement with meaningful and progressively challenging tasks that stimulate their thinking and enable them to develop competence over time. Unlike subject content, competence cannot be transmitted to learners. Rather, competence is progressively developed by learners through appropriate facilitation.
  • Table 1. The Role of Learners in Competence-Based Curricula
  • A “growth mindset” (Dweck, 2006). essential for developing intrinsic motivation.
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  • Deep learning
  • The extent of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral engagement influences the effectiveness of learning, and thus, the development of competence.
  • These modes of learning blur boundaries between teachers and learners, as learners progressively take responsibility for their own learning.
  • Success also rests on profound teacher understanding of curricula that should accrue during curriculum design and development stages. Such understanding is crucial for the teachers’ buy-in, conviction, ownership, and commitment to effective curricula implementation.
  • Within the curriculum continuum, assessment has significant potential to support and reinforce curriculum reform. However, it equally has enormous potential to distort the official/intended curriculum.
  • When appropriate strategies are used in assessment, they can support the implementation of the official curriculum, enhance learning, and lead to an enrichment effect. However, gaining these benefits of appropriate assessment demands a specialized knowledge of assessment by all concerned.
  • Another critical policy message is that competence-based assessment and examinations systems require significant investment in the professionalization of teachers as assessors of learning. Competence-based assessments also require trust in teachers’ ability to make reliable judgements and to utilize assessment as an inherent and important part of teaching and learning.
  • A key policy message is that education and learning systems cannot succeed at adopting competence-based approaches to curriculum without similarly transforming teaching, learning, as well as assessment and examination systems. All the three elements must be aligned. Transforming curricula to competence-based approaches and leaving teaching, learning, assessment, tests, and examinations subject-based is tantamount to not transforming curricula.
  • In competence-based approaches, teachers are not just co-designers and co-developers of curricula. They are also pivotal co-assessors, co-testers, and co-examiners.
  • Most importantly, competence-based curricula must lead quality assessment rather than be led by poor practice assessments, tests, and examinations.
  • What "developmental progression" means, in general terms, and an understanding that progressing is neither linear nor necessarily agerelated. Rather, it is iterative, interactive, and dependent on making connections to prior learning and to context;
  • it is best to base judgements on a number of different criterion referenced assessments.
  • Effective teacher professional development must include all 4 componen ts: • Knowledge – worthwhile research-informed theory, content, and expertise; • Integrated pedagogical and assessment skills and strategies; • Modelling, demonstrating, and engaging with approaches, ideally in settings that approximate to the workplace; • Practicing the approaches frequently over a substantial period of time between professional inputs; (2–6 months a minimum) with ongoing and follow up evaluation of impact and refinement; • Concurrent dialogue/coaching/peer collaboration in activities such as lesson planning, preparing related resources, peer observation, discussion, and reflection on impact
  • Table 4. Success of different methods of professional development Training Components Outcomes % of participants who demonstrate Kno wledge % of participants who demonstrate new Skills % of participants who transfer into Classroom Practice Theoretical Knowledge and Discussion 10%5%0% Demonstration in Training 30%20%0% Practice and Feedback in Training 60%60%5% Coaching in Classroom Settings 95%95%95%
  • Teaching still lacks core characteristics that define a profession, vis: (i) a profession-specific, systematized, scientific body of knowledge that informs the daily activities of practitioners; (ii) a lengthy period of higher education training and induction; (iii) engagement in continuous professional development; and (iv) autonomy to exercise professional judgement and decision-making in practice and in governance over the profession
Meghan Cureton

Project-based Learning: Are You Focused on the Project or the Learning? - 0 views

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    HT @akytle
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