Individualizing Student Learning with Competency-Based Education

Introduction: Why competency-based education?

Today’s ever-changing world—with newly emerging technologies, innovative economies, and evolving skill sets needed in every industry—requires teaching approaches that will effectively equip students with the skills they need to succeed. It is no longer enough to recite specific facts and figures. Employers need employees who can problem-solve, analyze, effectively communicate, and demonstrate technological literacy. It is not sufficient to be able to simply learn information or to equate time spent in class with educational achievement.

Instead, schools must consider the skill sets students need to navigate the future. Traditional systems of education that focus on graduation credits earned rather than mastery of skills are no longer adequate. In this dynamic environment, students must be provided with opportunities to develop needed proficiencies and competencies. Competency-based education (CBE) offers students the opportunity to cultivate these skills.

CBE brings a meaningful, inquiry-based, and growth-minded approach to education that promotes problem-solving skills and abilities in an individualized, differentiated, and connected way. It enables educators to collaborate to provide students with meaningful learning experiences that will prepare them for the future. Traditional systems of education that focus on graduation credits earned rather than mastery of skills are no longer adequate.

This eBook provides a concise overview of CBE: What is it? What historical events contributed to the traditional system of education, and why is there now a need to update this approach? Why is CBE a more appropriate instructional and curricular strategy for the future than the traditional time-based approach? Finally, how can CBE be successfully integrated into our schools today?

Please download the eBook above to continue reading.

About the Author

Dr. Caroline Kill

Dr. Caroline Elton Kill is the director of curriculum and pedagogy at The Barstow School in Kansas City, Missouri, where she also serves as the chair of the Science Department and teaches AP Biology, Anatomy, and Environmental Science. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Dr. Kill is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where she received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, the latter in Educational Leadership. In 2015, she was awarded the Wolfe Family Teaching Award by the University of Kansas School of Education. She lives with her husband and three children in Leawood, Kansas.

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