Target 8 inherently recognizes that all people learn differently and learn at different speeds. The speed at which a student learns should not determine his or her success.
Progress happens when a student reaches a benchmark - set in conjunction with their teachers and progress mentor – that signifies the student has achieved a level of understanding that will serve as a foundation for further learning. Measuring a student's progression or level of competency will require faculty to develop new assessment and reporting tools and strategies.
A concern we often hear from parents and teachers about competency-based progression is that it creates a possibility for a student to get "stuck" in a grade level. However, with FLoW21, the flexibility in a student's school experience will allow for students to spend more time or seek more resources to reach an expected level of competency, while perhaps spending less time in subjects where they may be ahead of schedule.
In the current model, some students will move on to the next grade level simply because of their age and without gaining sufficient knowledge required to succeed.
Target 8 seeks to create an atmosphere in which a student's school experience is personalized to maximize learning based on a student's strengths and challenges.
For students, competency-based learning means engaging with materials across all subject areas at their highest level of ability. Students are working at the level of a subject based on their competency, not based on their age or grade level.
Teachers will develop learning experiences for students that serve the needs of multi-age groups based on competency levels of skills and knowledge. It also means developing new methods for assessing a student's competency and progression.
Target 8 encourages parents to recognize and become comfortable with the fact that their child learns different subjects at different speeds, and the school experience can be tailored to offer support and resources that may be different than what peers of the same age require. These personally tailored experiences are not only for a handful of students who need further support or enrichment opportunities; they are for every student.
Competency-based learning is also often referred to as mastery-based learning. You can read more about it one of our previous posts here.