While attending a recent education conference focused on innovation, I could not help but notice a pattern across many presentations and discussions. Panelists and attendees were talking about different experiences students were having outside of the school day—in after-school programs, work and internship experiences, community service, place-based learning—and how they wished there was a way for students to receive “credit” for these experiences. Sentences that started with, “If only there was a way…” or, “No one has come up with a way yet…”
Well, I hope that my recent series of blog posts demonstrates clearly that THERE IS A WAY. Across eight blog posts, I have outlined the necessary shifts that I believe need to occur in mindsets, teaching and learning, structures, and systems in order to successfully transition to a more personalized and competency-based model. And yet, sitting in the audience at this conference, I could not help but wonder…how do we better communicate the power and the possibilities that competency-based education (CBE) holds for unbundling learning from the traditional structures of school and allowing all learning experiences both in and out of school to “count” for students?