The Reinventing Schools approach connects key features of personalized learning with the technical requirements necessary to fully implement a competency-based system. We refer to the approach as personalized competency-based education (PCBE), and it has the following characteristics:
Students move on to the next level within a subject area only after they have demonstrated proficiency at the current level.
The time required to learn content is not a factor in judging students’ competencies.
Students have multiple opportunities and ways to learn specific content.
Students have multiple opportunities and ways to demonstrate proficiency with specific content.
Development of student agency is a central focus in addition to proficiency with academic content.
Students have choice in the teaching and learning process.
Students have voice in the teaching and learning process.
Personalized competency-based education (PCBE) systems may look different everywhere, but districts, schools, and classrooms can follow a schema or blueprint to ask the right questions before diving in headfirst. When designing a PCBE system, each piece must work in concert with the other pieces so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We suggest starting with seven design questions:
What content will be addressed within the system?
How will the learning environment support student agency?
How will instruction support student learning?
How will student proficiency be measured?
How will scheduling accommodate student learning?
How will reporting facilitate student learning?
How do we transition to a PCBE system?
For each question, we work with districts and schools to examine considerations, approaches, and strategies as they design effective PCBE systems. We support implementation at the district, school, and classroom levels with consulting, technical assistance, professional development, and coaching services that support the development of infrastructure and processes for each design component.