What does a transition to competency-based learning (CBL) mean for a teacher? What does it mean for instructional design, classroom community, and feedback? In the past eighteen months GOA’s faculty have worked hard to craft competencies and outcomes for their courses, building the infrastructure for GOA’s transition to CBL, then doing the hard work of […]

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Competency-Based Learning
Instructional Design

What does learning look like? When we commit to competency-based learning, that’s the first question to answer. Tackling it requires crafting competencies and outcomes, the way we articulate the skills and measurable results we want students to develop. Once they’re articulated, we’re beautifully positioned to choose the content to cover and the assessments to design. […]

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Professional Learning
Competency-Based Learning
Instructional Design
Student Experience

Students need reflection routines and time to pursue them. In our recent pop-up course, Rethinking School, an exchange between two of the more than 200 educators in the course resonated deeply with me. While considering the role of feedback and its indispensable complement — student reflection — Rob Policelli, a history teacher at Durham Academy, […]

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Student Engagement
Competency-Based Learning
Making Connections
Student Experience

Lunch in a school cafeteria is often chaotic and quick. You dodge about foraging for food, assemble a meal, try to remember to grab silverware, and get to a table with little time to enjoy whatever you’ve gathered. It’s likely you’ll also attempt to finish your math homework or study for a Spanish quiz while […]

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Competency-Based Learning
Student Experience
Instructional Design
Student Engagement
Making Connections
Time Management

Is collaboration becoming a term like… innovation? organic? or feminism? That is, has it come to mean everything and (potentially) nothing? Collaboration is often bandied about as a critical 21st-century skill, which amuses me, given that some of us were collaborating in the 20th century. Part of our troubles in schools may come from collaboration’s […]

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Student Engagement
Instructional Design
Competency-Based Learning
Making Connections
Student Experience

Early on I started thinking of my typography teacher, Juliet Shen, as “the doctor.” Each week during my typography class, taken several years ago at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle, my classmates and I would arrive and hang our projects on a clothes line, strung along one of the classroom walls; then “the […]

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Student Engagement
Competency-Based Learning
Professional Learning
Student Experience

I’ve fallen head over heels in love with a new cookbook and its creators Samin Nosrat (author) and Wendy MacNaughton (illustrator). Michael Pollan, in his foreword to SALT FAT ACID HEAT: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, calls it not a typical cookbook, but more a wonderful cooking school. I agree, and beyond bolstering my […]

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Professional Learning
Competency-Based Learning
Instructional Design
Student Engagement

The most interesting thing in education right now may be competency-based learning (CBL). CBL allows students to show what they know through demonstrations of learning rather than pursuit of a letter grade earned through content knowledge and seat time. Many learning organizations adopting CBL aim to foster flexible pacing, to utilize new technology, and to […]

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Competency-Based Learning
Instructional Design
Student Experience

The summer months bring many educators to the water, be it oceans, lakes, or swimming pools. We close our laptops, put away the required reading, and try to clear our minds. No matter how much we try to get away from it all, there is a part of our teacherly minds that stands on another […]

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Competency-Based Learning
Student Engagement
Student Experience

What kind of learning should happen here? It’s a deceptively simple question, one that gets to the heart of why schools and other educational organizations exist. It’s also an increasingly important question as traditional modes of teaching and learning face scrutiny from a world demanding new ways of thinking and operating. It’s why GOA is […]

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Competency-Based Learning
Student Engagement
Student Experience