Posts by: Chris Sturgis

Finding Your Entry Point to Mastery Learning

by Chris Sturgis

I receive a few emails every week from educators who want to find out how to get started down the path of competency-based education. The pandemic’s demand for flexibility has increased these calls for help. Most everyone has read the CompetencyWorks blogs, they’ve tackled a few of the books that have been written,….. Read More

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What Will Students Experience in a Competency-Based School?

What will students experience in a competency-based school?

Below are a set of examples of experiences that every student should have in a well-developed personalized, competency-based system that was developed through a collaborative experience at CompetencyWorks in 2018.

1. I will be fully supported in developing academic knowledge and skills,….. Read More

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Supporting Teachers at D51: A Conversation with the Professional Learning Facilitators

This article is the seventh in the Designing Performance-Based Learning at D51 series. A reminder: D51 uses the phrase performance-based learning or P-BL.

Leigh Grasso, Director of Academic Achievement & Growth at D51, emphasizes, “We are shifting from a focus on professional development to professional learning.” And there are a lot of people focusing on helping the adults in the system learn…… Read More

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Locations: Colorado

Making Sense of the Research on Learning

A colleague scoffed the other day when I mentioned science of learning. It was the word ‘science” that drew the reaction as science had been used to harm people of color or justify their oppression. It’s been used against women as well. That’s why I have started to use the phrase ‘research on learning’….. Read More

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Key Findings: Science of Learning and Development

Although the high level findings of the science of learning often seem like common sense, the interplay between the different domains of research isn’t as simple. And we know that the education system is full of practices that are not only misaligned with the science of learning – they may actually be inhibiting and,….. Read More

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Laying the Foundation with Culture and Climate

This article is the sixth in the Designing Performance-Based Learning at D51 series. A reminder: D51 uses the phrase performance-based learning or P-BL.

The first of District 51’s five phases of implementation is Laying the Foundation. The foundation they are speaking of is the culture and climate in which personalized,….. Read More

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Locations: Colorado

Noble High School: Creating Timely, Differentiated Supports

If we gave out awards at CompetencyWorks, I’d give Noble High School an award for the fourth element of the CompetencyWorks definition of competency education: Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.

In fact, the school is designed around providing multiple support strategies,….. Read More

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Locations: Maine

Steps Toward Maturity: Introducing the Concept of Student Autonomy (Part 2)

In the first part of this series, I call for us to be strategic in how we communicate the concepts related to student agency to the general public while also building a more precise understanding of what it means and how to help students develop the mindsets,….. Read More

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Waukesha STEM Academy: Personalizing Instruction and Learning Experiences (Part 2)

This article, originally posted at CompetencyWorks is based on site visits in 2017 on personalized, proficiency-based education in Wisconsin.

Many people describe WSA as a STEM school or as a project-based learning school. Murray quickly pointed out, “I couldn’t really make a blanket statement that we are a project-based school or not…… Read More

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Locations: Wisconsin

Waukesha STEM Academy: Rethinking Space, Time, and Reporting (Part 3)

This article, originally posted at CompetencyWorks is based on site visits in 2017 on personalized, proficiency-based education in Wisconsin.

“Once you get a new iPhone, you can’t go back to a flip phone…it just doesn’t feel right,” remarked Waukesha STEM Academy principal James Murray…… Read More

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Locations: Wisconsin