Questions, Questions and More Questions

by Chris Sturgis

I receive questions along the way from different colleagues, clients and people trying to find their way through personalized, competency-based education. Last week I had a chance to speak with students from Michael Golden’s class at UPenn. Here are some short responses to each of the follow-up questions I received:

1. Do students pass from one grade to another based on their mastery level? Does that mean every child would have a different learning journey that would not be based on a fixed time interval? In such a case, do you think that CBE could lead to even more inequity than the current traditional system? Because a low-income student might not have access to similar resources as a high-income student and might graduate at a later age.

2.What do you think can be CBE’s negative impact on a child’s self-efficacy? What if a child is unable to reach the mastery level?

3. What is the role of summative assessment?

4. What countries are implementing competency-based education? Is there any insight into the cultures that are more aligned with it? 

5. How do teachers manage a community of learners when students are all at different levels?

6. Do you see graduate aims as roughly the same thing as competencies? Is it a nomenclature issue or a conceptual difference?

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