- In a new report titled "Levers and Logic Models: A Framework to Guide Research and Design of High-Quality Competency-Based Education Systems," iNACOL's Competency Works initiative seeks to lay out a model framework for what an effective competency-based education (CBE) program looks like in K-12.
- The report defines the most necessary aspects of any approach to CBE while accounting for variables based on the context in which schools are operating and recognizing the factors that educators can control to the benefit of such an approach.
- Ultimately, the authors write that more work is still needed on state and federal policy, as well as the impact of levers like outcomes, learning sciences, student populations and local context, to make CBE approaches stronger and more sustainable.
The past few years have seen CBE's star rise as school and district administrators work to meet demands for skills from both employers and higher education. This has included not just the demonstration of competency in the technical skills associated with core academic areas, but also in soft skills like communication, collaboration and empathy, as well.
But as with many educational trends in their early stages, interpretations from district to district of how to go about implementing a competency-based approach have varied, sometimes widely, in practice. By working to establish a standard framework with room for variables that exist across districts, researchers like those at iNACOL can help educators streamline their approaches and develop scalable best practices for comparable results.
Administrators must, however, also consider that more "active" learning models like CBE or personalized learning are also more demanding of teachers' time. Without additional support, burnout can easily occur. As such, the consideration of these new models also necessitates a rethinking of approaches to staffing.