competency-based learning

Look to the Future and Break From Tradition for Student Success

This month I oversee my 13th graduation ceremony as a New Hampshire high school principal. Between the tones of the bagpipers that usher my graduates to the stage to the tears of joy from family and friends, I see nothing but hope, drive, and optimism in my students’ eyes as they wait for the moment their teachers have been talking about for many years. My students, like so many across the nation, are about to enter a brave new world. It is one in which their ability to engage in soft skills such as creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management will determine the extent of their success. These skills, according to the World Economic Forum, are the most in-demand skills companies are looking for today. (more…)

Lessons Learned From a Decade of Competency-Based Learning Implementation

Any principal who has engaged in the process of change will tell you that the ultimate goal is when the change becomes ingrained in school culture, and is no longer considered “new” but rather just thought of as “what we do.” (more…)

Schools Could Learn a Thing or Two From Driver Education

Guest post by Brian M. Stack

I have spent more than a decade as the principal of a high school that has gained national recognition as an early adopter of a competency-based learning model. As one who has been a part of this transition and implementation since its beginning, I am always happy to offer practical advice to fellow principals on the topic. The most popular question I am asked is about how to introduce the idea of competency-based learning to parents and other stakeholders who do not work in the education field. To date, I have found no better way to do this than to relate it to a very common assessment experience that most adults have in common: obtaining a driver’s license.  (more…)

Finding Your Path Toward Competency-Based Learning

Guest post by Brian M. Stack

Imagine trying to go somewhere for the first time without having access to a map. Worse yet, imagine being the great explorers Lewis and Clark who crossed the western part of our country for the first time in 1804 with no map, no roads, and little knowledge of what it was going to take to get to their destination. In education, early adopters often feel like trailblazers too, using research, trends, and sometimes their guts to forge new ways of thinking and doing. If you are a school leader looking to move your school to competency-based learning today, you may feel a daunting sense of helplessness as you embark on your journey. The good news is (more…)