Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why competency-based learning is not enough

Critique-based learning and my virtual talk on education in 2025 say much that is also said by proponents of competency-based learning, including the emphasis on proficiency over seat-time, multiple pathways through a curriculum, formative over summative assessments, and teachers as mentors not graders.  When Success Is the Only Option by Sturgis and Patrick as an excellent overview of the ideas of CBL.

So is all I'm saying really CBL? Is CBL sufficient to define what education needs to be? Let's look at two large examples of CBL: the Florida Virtual School curriculum and the 2014 Western Governors University course catalog (course listings start on page 40).  What you see there looks identical to the courses you see offered in any traditional curriculum: Chemistry I, College Geometry, US Government and Constitution, etc. Compare those courses with the role and story driven offerings suggested by slide 21 of my virtual talk or actually offered at XTOL.

CBL is built on the same broken discipline-defined foundations-first content structure of traditional curriculum. Competency rather than seat-time is the right idea -- but competent in what matters just as much.

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