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Reflect on the Role of CBE in Curriculum Development and Implementation

Reflect on the Role of CBE in Curriculum Development and Implementation

Author: Kathleen Johnson

In this lesson, students reflect on the role of CBE in curriculum development and implementation.

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Source: Digital Access Key Image; Morgue File;

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Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you're having a wonderful day today. Today, we are going to do some reflection. Specifically, we are going to be reflecting on the role of competency-based education in curriculum development and implementation.

For today's lesson I've chosen a quote by Daniel J Boorstin, which states that, "education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know." By the end of the lesson today, you will be able to really reflect on the role of competency-based education within curriculum development and implementation.

What I would like to do for today is really model for you how to generally reflect on that competency-based education, specifically looking at how we use that within deeper learning and focusing in on those elements of authentic instruction and assessment when we are teaching.

As we go through this reflection, I'm going to use what we call a plus-minus-delta. And what this focuses in on is really looking at the pluses-- things that we feel like went really well for us-- looking in at the minuses-- things that maybe didn't go as well-- and then the delta is really focusing in on what we want to change. It's a nice little way to do a quick, short reflection on any element of your teaching.

So first, let's go ahead and look at a plus, reflecting on the things that went really well. When I reflect back on competency-based education, I want to look at the idea of what are some of the benefits of competency-based education based upon what you know. And for me, I can see some huge benefits to CBE.

First and foremost, it really puts the focus in on the student, and it reminds those teachers to make that lesson and unit important and relevant for the student and not just because I love this book or I really find this experiment interesting. Just because we, as teachers, get really psyched about the stuff we teach doesn't always mean that our students find that same importance, so we want to make sure that we're connecting it back to the student.

Also, CBE constantly reminds you to focus in on those standards. As we are moving, as a nation, towards an education system that greatly emphasizes that standards-based instruction and putting an emphasis on some of those standards-based tests, whether we like that or not, we need to make sure that we're always remembering those standards in the teachings that we do.

Next, we're going to go ahead and take a look at a minus, reflecting on things that didn't go so well. When we do this within competency-based education, looking at the system as a whole, we're going to ask ourselves, really, what are some of the challenges that face you when facilitating CBE in your classroom? What can you anticipate some of those challenges being?

And I would say, first and foremost, especially for younger teachers, the challenges could be that you are easily overwhelmed by potentially teaching multiple different courses within one trimester or one semester, and things move so quickly and there are so many other things to worry about that there does-- you are giving up a little bit of time on the front end to really focused in and include those standards and think about that before you start. For teachers who have been teaching for longer, we get set in our ways pretty consistently, and it's difficult to step back and say, how can I reassess what it is I'm doing?

Also, competency-based education really focuses in on the idea of differentiation and personalizing for the student, and it can be really hard to reach all students in a classroom, especially when you're looking at class sizes of anywhere from 30 to 40 students. I had a class with 42 students in it, and it's really hard to differentiate in a 50 minute time period with 40 different students. So that can be a challenge, but it doesn't mean that we don't try.

Finally, I want to take a look at that delta, reflecting on the changes that you want to make. When we look at this within CBE, what we're really asking are, in what ways will you be able to really incorporate the strengths of CBEs into your classroom and to meet those learning needs of your students?

And I think, for me, what I can answer on that is that I can certainly take some of the lessons that I have that I feel like our working well and go back and say, can I connect this accurately within the CBE principles to having students continue based upon mastery?

Can I add in various elements of differentiation so that I'm reaching all of those students, and can I go back and make sure that what I have here is truly connected into the standards that I'm hoping students to achieve by the end of the lesson, or the unit, or even the entire course?

Now that we've reached the end of the lesson, you have been able to reflect on the role of CBE in curriculum development and implementation. Now I'd like you to take just a moment for reflection. What do you think are some of the benefits of competency-based education, based on what you now know, that you could implement within your classroom?

To dive a little deeper and learn how to really apply this information, be sure to check out the Additional Resources section associated with this video. That's where you're going to find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

Notes on "Reflect on the Role of CBE in Curriculum Development and Implementation"

(00:00-00:25) Intro

(00:26-00:36) Objectives

(00:37-02:40) Reflecting on CBE: Plus

(02:41-04:13) Reflecting on CBE: Minus

(04:15-05:08) Reflecting on CBE: Delta

(05:09-05:45) Review & Reflection

Additional Resources

Montgomery County Public Schools: 10 Basic Quality Tools for the Classroom

Scroll down to see an overview of and resources for using Plus Minus Deltas to reflect on teaching and learning. This tool helps you reflect on what is working well, what needs to be changed, and ideas on how to change those instructional practices.