What is sucess for students and can it be measured? From the traditional point of view, the more students spend in the classroom the more sucessfull theu feel. This rather outdated theorty is up for a challage. Modern and influential institutions are pushing the education environment for a shift towards competency-based education. Timothy Knowles, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, believes that focusing on skills acquired rather than time spent in the classroom will lead to more effective learning outcomes.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Competency-based education prioritizes the skills acquired by students over the time spent in the classroom, leading to improved learning outcomes.
  • The Carnegie Foundation and the Educational Testing Service (ETS) are collaborating on the development of innovative assessment tools to evaluate student capabilities and recognize learning experiences outside the classroom.
  • To successfully implement competency-based education, challenges such as effectively defining and assessing skills and addressing skepticism must be overcome.

A Shift Towards Competency-Based Education

The Carnegie Foundation, which introduced the time-based Carnegie Unit in 1906, has partnered with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to create new tools designed to assess what students are capable of, rather than how much time they spent learning. By emphasizing educational outcomes over processes, schools and colleges can better account for individual learning differences and recognize valuable lessons gained outside the classroom.

Real-World Examples

Rhode Island has recently eliminated school seat time requirements. Texas State Technical College is in the process of shifting its programs to a competency-based model. At the high school level, XQ Institute is developing the XQ Student Performance Framework to give students credits and certified badges. Such an approach can help in recognizing the skills they’ve gained.

Challenges and Skepticism

Despite the enthusiasm for competency-based education, challenges still remain. Defining what counts as a “skill” and developing effective methods to assess those skills present significant hurdles. Skeptics question whether the movement is motivated more by profits than the best interests of students.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, as the education system evolves, competency-based education is gaining momentum. Moreover, effective learning is meassured in skills and knowleadge rather than in time spent in the classroom. Such a shift can create more learning and working opportunities for aspiring students. However, the implementation of such an approach will require overcoming various challenges and addressing concerns from skeptics.



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