A competency-based approach pivots away from traditional grades on assignments to measuring mastery of whole-child outcomes—the specific skills, habits, or dispositions we want learners to develop. The goal of a competency-based approach is to measure what matters, but there are objections to be addressed.
In a learner-centered environment, clear outcomes are the North Star that guides the design and purpose of learning experiences for students of all ages. We model this same approach with teacher professional learning. Studies show that effective professional learning for educators emphasizes active learning practices and creates opportunities to apply learning to real-life practice (Stewart, Journal of Adult Education, p. 28-30) As teachers prototype new practices, they capture evidence of their learning and curate work that showcases their professional growth over time.