The Emergence of Competency-Based Programming and Subsequent Significance
- December 20, 2016
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Uncategorized
What is the goal of education? In an effortless system, education, at its core, is the lofty premise of creating desired results through acquired knowledge. The knowledge transformation occurs when a student traverses through the intricate process of learning by absorbing new information, acknowledging or discounting previous paradigms, and marinating on cognitive decisions as to how this newfound knowledge decidedly spills into authentic application of the student’s own reality. It is this reasoning that makes learning such a profoundly personal experience, and thus counterintuitive to the pedagogy design of our current mainstream teaching approach.
Our current educational system is designed as a ‘top to bottom’ –heavy approach, in which a student is told to replicate what is given by the instructor and graded in merit by how closely it matches the teacher’s vision. But, what if the student was, in fact, their own sage? What if teachers took an active role in being “inactive”, and instead, set up frameworks that allowed for risk-free exploration of the student’s own design? What if teachers allowed for a “safe zone” that was created specifically for student success? This radical concept is anchored in results-based learning, and, ironically, not at all radical in execution.
The emergence of learning intentionality is here and now, under the exciting realm of competency-based programming. Although, relatively new in accredited recognition within higher education institutions, the basis of this type of educational framework reverts back to philosophical roots of contemplation led by students themselves. Surprisingly, some of the first pioneers to embrace the practicality of such programs are workforce divisions. Imagine, using critical thinking skills to solve complex problems that ACTUALLY occur at work? Preposterous! Or, is it?
Leveraging experience as a teacher and applying it to further propel interest in a particular subject seems not only practical, but intuitive. In fact, it is so intuitive, that one begs the question, can it be that easy? In a nutshell, the simple structure of a competency-based structured program is that intended results are predetermined through a clarified rubric; however, the journey of the learning acquisition is not. The student assigns their own learning led by their curiosity, and through the submission of learning checkpoints, qualify their intended project mastery.
Why is teaching this process inherently powerful? Simply put, the content becomes irrelevant in terms of learning. By teaching the joy of curiosity and by empowering students to become leaders of their own learning process, they become more vested in their results. The caliber of knowledge is exponentially driven by the student’s own need to determine his/her newfound knowledge’s relevance in his/her daily living application. When students drive their own educational decisions, their heightened barometer of success is far greater than one that was forcibly handed to them by another entity. This is why, when I am questioned on my teaching philosophy, I simply state I help student fall in love with their process of learning.