If you are just starting out or are midway in your process of making the transition to personalized, mastery learning, it might help you to read Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education. If you are in planning stages, be sure to read the first section, which is a primer on competency-based education including the flaws in the traditional system.
The best way to read Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education is to take the time to write down your questions, engage your peers in conversation about whether you think the quality principle makes sense in terms of helping students to learn, and what you have in place that you can build upon. This isn’t an implementation guidebook, as schools chose different entry points and roll-out strategies. Instead, it’s designed to help you make the shift in thinking from the top-down, time-based traditional system to the empowered, flexible system that is designed to make sure that every student is able to succeed and make progress toward college- and career-ready knowledge and skills.
16 Quality Principles
- Quality Principle #1 Purpose-Driven
- Quality Principle #2 Commit to Equity
- Quality Principle #3 Nurture a Culture of Learning and Inclusivity
- Quality Principle #4 Foster the Development of a Growth Mindset
- Quality Principle #5 Cultivate Empowering and Distributed Leadership
- Quality Principle #6 Base School Design and Pedagogy on Learning Sciences
- Quality Principle #7 Activate Student Agency and Ownership
- Quality Principle #8 Design for the Development of Rigorous Higher-Level Skills
- Quality Principle #9 Ensure Responsiveness
- Quality Principle #10 Seek Intentionality and Alignment
- Quality Principle #11 Establish Mechanisms to Ensure Consistency and Reliability
- Quality Principle #12 Maximize Transparency
- Quality Principle #13 Invest in Educators as Learners
- Quality Principle #14 Increase Organizational Flexibility
- Quality Principle #15 Develop Processes for Ongoing Continuous Improvement and Organizational Learning
- Quality Principle #16 Advance Upon Demonstrated Mastery
I’d love to hear your reaction to Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education, especially if you have a misstep along the way. The more we can collect missteps, why they happened, and how to quickly correct them, the sooner we can create an implementation guidebook. In the meantime, a shared purpose, a trusting and inclusive culture, thinking hard about designing about what is best for kids to learn and develop, and a bit of courage will get you where you need to go. Oh and remember to celebrate lessons learned from mistakes and achievements, big and small, along the way!
This article is based on an earlier version that was published at CompetencyWorks in December 2018.