As personalized learning becomes more in-demand, more educators advocate for competency education

competency-basedStudent-centered learning is at the forefront of many education reforms today, as stakeholders realize that personalizing learning is key to student success. And competency-based learning–the idea that students advance based on concept mastery and not time- or grade-level restraints–is a key part of student-centered learning.

Supporters maintain that education’s design as it is today, which centers around time and curriculum, doesn’t support students the way they need to be supported in order to prepare for a competitive global economy. Critics wonder if all student groups are well-served by the model, and have said there can be too much testing.

“Competency-based education is really foundational for true student-centered learning and personalized learning,” said Susan Patrick, president and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), speaking during an April 28 web briefing.

(Next page: What does competency-based learning look like?)