REL Midwest Event Highlights Competency-Based Education

In a competency-based education (CBE) environment:

  • Students are expected to be active participants in and owners of their individual learning.
  • Proficiency is measured against a set of explicit, measurable, and transferable learning objectives.
  • State standards specify what students need to learn while CBE answers the questions of how they should learn it and why learning it is relevant in their lives.
  • College and career readiness is the destination, CBE is the vehicle, the teacher is the navigator, and the student is the driver.
  • Education is something done with students instead of to them.

These were among the key points made during Implementing Competency-Based Education Practices in the Midwest, a REL Midwest public television event produced with WTTW in Chicago and broadcast in September. The one-hour program—now archived online—provides viewers with a glimpse of emerging research in the field and examples of how schools and districts are implementing CBE practices in Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, and Ohio.

The program features Elizabeth A. Jones, Ph.D., professor of education at Holy Family University and an author of the National Center for Education Statistics report Defining and Assessing Learning: Exploring Competency-Based Initiatives. Sara Wraight, senior policy analyst with American Institutes for Research and director of the Midwest Comprehensive Center, moderates a discussion among Dr. Jones, Sandra Dop, Ph.D. (Iowa Department of Education), Pat Trotter (Kentucky Department of Education), Jeffrey Lewis, Ed.D. (Dayton STEM School in Ohio), and Roberta Selleck, Ph.D. (Freeport School District 145 in Illinois).

REL Midwest is part of a network of ten regional educational laboratories funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

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