Shifting from traditional to modern education requires new tools, techniques, and skills. But, if these were all you needed, wouldn’t more schools and districts have made the transition already? Making the transition also requires a “mindshift.” What does this mean? It means students, teachers, leaders, and communities investigating and adjusting their assumptions, beliefs, and ways of thinking about education and learning. It’s easy to think that these change are the “soft stuff” and put them second, third, or last on your list of things to consider. But leaders in the field are unanimous: it’s the mindshifts that are some of the most important – and sometimes the most challenging – parts of the process. After all, as Albert Einstein said, “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Questions to Consider:
- How will you identify the assumptions and ways of thinking that are held in your school or district? How can you uncover them by looking at patterns in data or soliciting feedback from your communities?
- What connections might exist between your school or district’s beliefs and your outcomes?
- How do your school’s or district’s belief systems fit with your goals for the future? For your students?
- What could it look like to begin shifting beliefs in your school or district? Where will you start? Who will you need to engage?
- How will you help people in your school or district do this work? What compelling reason will you provide? What structures? What supports?
- Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education contains a chart on page 19 that compares the traditional system to the 10 distinguishing features of competency-based education.
- KnowledgeWorks offers an infographic comparing traditional vs competency-based educaiton.