Even if you have never heard of competency-based education, you have probably experienced it in some form. If you have ever studied for a test in advance because you knew that your teacher would allow you to take the test early, or if your child has ever sped through a school assignment at lightning pace while another student needed more time to complete the same task, then you already know how competency-based education works. In these situations, students are able to progress through the curriculum at their own pace by demonstrating mastery of predetermined learning objectives instead of spending a set amount of time on every lesson.
Benefits Of Competency-Based Education
Competency-based schools share this approach and use it as the foundation for their entire educational model. This can be a little confusing at first glance, but it’s actually quite simple once you understand its basic principles. Like many other progressive approaches to education, competency based education (CBE) focuses on learning and mastery rather than time spent in the classroom. Here is how it works:
1. Focuses on learning and mastery, not time.
In a competency-based system, students can learn at their own pace. They can move through content at the rate that works best for them and then demonstrate mastery of the material before moving on to more advanced curriculum. This allows students who have prior knowledge in a subject area to advance quickly while providing additional time for those who need it.
2. Empower students to take ownership of their learning.
Competency-based education empowers students to take ownership of their own learning. This means that a student can choose what he or she wants to learn, at his or her own pace. The student can also choose when he or she wants to learn it—whether it be during school hours, at home, or even on the go with an app. Lastly, they can decide where they want to learn; whether this be in a classroom with peers and/or teachers present, one-on-one with a tutor in their home environment (such as afterschool tutoring), or on the go through apps like Duolingo that teach foreign languages via smartphone device.
3. Allows students to progress through the curriculum at their own pace.
Competency based education is a way for students to progress through the curriculum at their own pace.
This means that a student can take as much time as they need to master a skill, rather than being forced to rush through it in order to keep up with the rest of their class.
They also have the freedom to develop their skills at their own pace and make sure that they are ready before moving on, rather than rushing into something new just because it’s happening faster than they’re able or comfortable with.
4. Personalized learning that meets the needs of all learners.
When you are able to differentiate your instruction, then the learning experience becomes personalized.
Differentiation refers to the process of tailoring or personalizing instruction for each student based on their individual needs. You can differentiate your curriculum and teaching methods in order to address the diverse needs of all learners.
In a differentiated learning environment, students may be grouped according to their readiness for a particular concept or skill, interest level in a topic, ability level at a task or subject area, abilities that they have mastered and those they need more time working on before moving on; by using differentiated strategies like flexible grouping, cooperative learning groups and independent work stations; by providing specialized instruction when needed; by providing tutors/mentors; providing training tools such as calculators, computers etc.; through using different types of assessments like quizzes/tests/projects etc.; offering choice within lesson plans (workbooks); allowing students access to resources like textbooks outside class hours; offering extra help after school hours etc…
5. Helps students develop the skills they will need in the workplace.
Competency-based education is a great way to help students develop the skills they will need in the workplace. When you teach your students to be proficient at certain tasks, it’s much easier for them to learn new skills later on. For example, if your student has learned how to use Microsoft Word and Excel, then it will be easier for that student to learn other programs like Photoshop or AutoCAD when he goes into business school or gets his first job working as an accountant. Your students will also have a much better understanding of what is expected from them at work because they already have experience doing similar tasks at home with their homework assignments.
This approach makes it easy for both schools and employers alike because they know exactly what sort of qualifications they need from prospective employees before hiring workers who may not yet have all necessary skills but could still be very valuable contributors if given proper training opportunities within their organization rather than sending them off somewhere else where there may not be any openings available at present time (which would make sense why many companies are hard pressed these days).
6. Spent less time in class…or not in class at all!
One of the most significant advantages of competency-based education is that students can learn at their own pace. This means that you are not limited by what your teacher wants you to do or finish in a certain amount of time. This allows students to focus on the most challenging concepts and skills first, which gives them more confidence later when it comes time for test taking or other formal assessments.
Competency-based education also allows you to take breaks from school if needed. Many working adults go back to school in order to improve their job prospects or achieve a certification in a specialized field, but they may have trouble balancing work responsibilities with coursework requirements. Competency based learning allows these students an alternative approach: they can take the classes they need while continuing with their normal lives outside class (work and family).
7. Teachers can focus on providing support to students who need it most.
One of the main benefits of competency-based education is that teachers can focus on teaching students who need it most. In other words, instead of spending time on teaching students the material they already know, teachers are able to spend more time and effort on providing support for those who don’t. This means that students who struggle with a certain topic can receive more individualized attention from their teacher or tutor in order to help them master this particular skill and move forward with their studies. Once these skills are acquired, then these same students will be able to apply them successfully in future classes so that they can progress quickly through their academic career without falling behind again in subsequent courses at any point during high school or college!
8. CBE can help close the achievement gap between underrepresented groups and other groups of learners.
The U.S. population has become increasingly diverse, and its students are no exception. A study from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that in 2015-16, 58% of all undergraduates were members of racial or ethnic minority groups (up from 54% in 2006-07).
The same study found that African American students were overrepresented among undergraduates compared to their presence in the general population: Black college students made up 12% of all full-time academic year undergraduate students; they represent 13% of the total U.S. population ages 18 through 24 years old within this age range (NCES).
The same trend holds true for other underrepresented groups like Hispanic Americans and Native Americans as well—they are generally underrepresented on many fronts throughout education systems around the world today: In higher education attendance rates only 4 out 10 Hispanics earn degrees after six years compared with 6 out 10 whites according to a recent report by Achieve Inc., an organization dedicated to closing achievement gaps between different student populations across America’s public schools system (Achieve).
9. Competency based education is a great model for students who are self-motivated and want to move quickly through content
CBE is a great model for students who are self-motivated and want to move quickly through content. It allows them to progress through the curriculum at their own pace, learning and mastering the content before moving on. This can be an extremely beneficial model for underrepresented groups of learners because it takes away the pressure of time from learning experiences.
In some cases, these students may have been placed in lower track classes with other learners who were struggling or behind their peers in order to help close any gaps between them and their peers because they were more motivated than others. These students were then expected to spend more time learning material that they already knew well so that others could catch up but often felt like they weren’t being challenged enough in order not only meet state standards but also continue growing intellectually as well as gain confidence about what they’re capable of doing when given opportunities like CBE would provide
CBE has a lot of potential to help students succeed and be prepared for the workforce. It could also have some unintended consequences that we need to explore before making any major changes in our educational system. While there are many benefits of this model, it is important that schools take the time to understand how they can best implement CBE so their students have the most success.