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Competency Based Education and Deeper Learning in Curriculum Design and Implementation

Competency Based Education and Deeper Learning in Curriculum Design and Implementation

Author: Kathleen Johnson

In this lesson, students will explore the definition of CBE in Deeper Learning.

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Competency Based Education & Deeper Learning in Curriculum Design and Implementation

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Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you're having a wonderful day today. Today, we're going to be looking at Competency Based Education and Deeper Learning in Curriculum Design and Implementation. For today's lesson, I've chosen a quote by Aristotle, which states, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." Now, by the end of today's lesson, you will be able to explore the definitions of competency based education within deeper learning.

First, let's go ahead and take a look at the history of deeper learning. Deeper learning is an initiative that was founded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's education program. Now, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a foundation that is committed to both education as well as social change. And what they do is they provide grants and endowments to really help support schools that are working to provide those opportunities for students to make a difference within our global society. So those could be students who are involved in various civic or community projects, that the goal is to really make that difference on a global scale. They're also working to help students build the knowledge that they will need in order to compete and to be successful within the global economy.

Now, let's go ahead and take a look at some of the core concepts of deeper learning. So competency based education is, as defined by deeper learning for all, which is defined by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, really focuses in on the idea of that rigorous core content that's provided to students and giving them many opportunities to learn. Students develop those competencies that will help prepare them for college and their careers through these core competencies.

So the first of which is that students master first their core academic content. What we're looking at here is students being able to master the knowledge that they need in that core subject on that core level first and foremost. Then, they're able to transfer that knowledge to various authentic situations and problems. So first in the class within the core content, then advancing that outside of the classroom or applying it to other courses or classes.

The second main core concept is that students are able to think critically and solve complex problems. What we're looking at here is the student's ability to use the content that they have learned and the skills that they've acquired within their core academic area and then using that to think critically and solve various problems when they are placed in new situations, really working to use a variety of resources and tools as well as their creativity and that mindset to be able to transition and use this information outside of just the classroom.

The third area is that students are able to work collaboratively. It's really important, especially as we look at being competitive within the global economy, that students are able to creatively solve those social, academic, civic problems. But they're able to do so with others around them, both in the classroom as well as in various vocational settings or settings outside of the classroom.

The fourth core concept is that students are able to communicate effectively. So not only should they be able to work together, but they should also be able to communicate what it is that they are thinking, feeling, whether it's a positive or whether it's a problem, a solution, a way for them to really focus in and work with the other people in their group, communicating their thoughts and ideas to authentic audiences.

The fifth core concept is for students to learn how to learn. This is a much higher level thinking. But it's students' ability to track their own learning and then adjust, so that they're able to tap into knowing what it is that they don't know.

Finally, the sixth core concept for deeper learning is to develop academic mindsets. Again, this follows right on with the learn how to learn. It's that students are really developing that confidence, their sense of feeling like they are a part of the community that's around them, their ability to speak up and self advocate for what it is that they believe, and a true value in the learning that they're doing. These are the six core concepts of deeper learning.

Finally, what I'd like to do now is connect those core competencies to the standards. So we are going to see how all of that aligns with the content knowledge. So first and foremost, it is essential, in curriculum based education curriculum, that-- that the process is included. It's not just about the end result, but really about the process and the way in which students are getting to that point. That's what deeper learning is really all about.

The core competencies are very, very similar to those that are defined by iNACOL, its framework and the five design principles, that is used for competency based education. So again, these are very closely connected. What deeper learning really tries to do, though, is that it allows students to really transfer that knowledge from the classroom to real world settings. So the goal is not just that students feel confident, that they can do that, but that these students are actually affecting change at the local and global levels.

Finally, just a little bit of interesting information. In a recent report that was done by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, also known as OECD, they hailed the impact that deeper learning has had on really helping to develop students that are competitive, and prepared, and confident as they go out into the global marketplace with those 21st century skills.

Now that you've reached the end of the lesson, you are able to explore the definition of competency based education, specifically as it applies to deeper learning. Now that we have finished this lesson, what do you think would be the most difficult part of implementing some of these elements of deeper learning into your own classroom? As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you might want to explore the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set.

Notes on " Competency Based Education and Deeper Learning in Curriculum Design and Implementation"

(00:00-00:17) Intro

(00:18-00:28) Objectives

(00:29-01:18) History of Deeper Learning

(01:19-04:30) Deeper Learning Core Concepts

(04:31-06:00) Connecting Deeper Learning Competencies to Standards

(06:01-06:36) Review & Reflection

Additional Resources

Deeper Learning: A Series Overview

In this video series, you will learn the design principles of Deeper Learning. In addition, you will see Deeper Learning in practice in classrooms and hear from students and teachers about their experiences.

Competency Works Wiki: Deeper Learning

On this site, you will find links to resources for training and professional development on Deeper Learning. The first four links provide access to online learning opportunities.

How Digital Learning Contributes to Deeper Learning

In this presentation, Tom Vander Ark and Carri Schneider suggest that digital learning promotes Deeper Learning through personalized skill building, schools and tools that foster Deeper Learning, and extended access. In addition, the presentation explores 10 steps to achieve Deeper Learning in your practice.

Where Can I Find More Resources on Deeper Learning?

This is a collection of resources on and examples of Deeper Learning provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.