MooseTech 2018 & WMEC Rendezvous 2018
Session sponsored by GEAR UP Maine.
Getting Started with Proficiency-based Learning
New to Proficiency-based Learning? Or been at it a while, but feel like you aren’t sure how to make better progress? This session will provide ideas on where to start with your students, your teaching, and your assessment.
What is Proficiency-based Education?
- PBE goes by lots of names (competency-based learning, customized learning, mastery learning, etc.)
- Maine’s definition: Any system of academic instruction, assessment, grading, and reporting that is based on students demonstrating mastery of the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn before they progress to the next lesson, get promoted to the next grade level, or receive a diploma. (Maine DOE: Getting to Proficiency)
- Core Beliefs: People learning in different timeframes and in different ways
- Shifting from Time as the constant and Learning as the variable, to Learning as the constant and Time as the variable.
- The economy has changed. Everybody needs some kind of post-secondary education. Schools need to stop sorting for college readiness and start better educating all students so they are all post-secondary education ready.
- Lots of models, but we should probably work to simplify them. (Not All at Once: Breaking Your Initiative into Phases)
- Simplifying implementation: I’ve been asking folks, “If districts or teachers only could do 3 things to implement PBE what should those 3 things be?”
Become a Learner in a Group of Learners
- Seek and join a group: Western Maine Education Collaborative, Northern Maine Education Collaborative, Washington County Collaborative, Maine Curriculum Leaders Association, Maine Cohort for Customized Learning, Great Schools Partnership, New England Secondary Schools Consortium
- Seek others to learn with – find a group who is interested in what you are interested in; Join or organize a book study or PLC; Stay in touch with educators you connect with at a conference or training; Participate in twitter chats or join a relevant email list.
- Visit Classrooms – How do PBE classrooms function? What do they look like? What ideas can you bring back to your school? Visit schools to learn about different PBE systems schools are putting into place.
- Support the Heck out of Teachers
Focus on the Classroom and Learner-Centered Instruction
- The learning is required, but the method or approach is not
- Move Beyond Direct Instruction
- Plain English Instructional Model
- The Advantages of a Plain English Instructional Model
- Building Foundational Knowledge
- Practice and Deepening Understanding
- Putting Knowledge to Use
Standards, Tracking Learning, Standards-based Grading
- Find a curriculum to adopt and select a learning progress management system. Simplify the implementation process by not trying to build your own, just choose someone’s and tweak it to fit your needs.
- Grade Learning Targets, Not Activities
- Give the activity
- Name the learning targets
- Grade the learning targets (not the activity)
- Problems with Grades Based on Averages
- Moving Toward Standards Based Grading
A Few Last Thoughts
- Everything else can wait…
- Remember, there are schools out there being successful with PBE, so if you are hearing about strategies that sound crazy to you, that’s probably not how the successful schools are doing it!
- Teachers wonder, “What do we do with the student who is one year or three years behind?” But this is probably the wrong question. Students got to be 3 years behind because they started one week behind and it grew over time. Besides our PBE system should be K-12, not just for high school teachers. So students being 3 years behind is a real problem, but the real problem to solve is, “What do we do with the student who is a week behind?” We solve that problem and we shouldn’t end up with any more students 3 years behind…
- Honor Controversy
- On Transitioning – Not Jumping Straight from the Traditional to the New
Get Together, Get Going, Keep Going, Don’t Stop
- McMEL (Maine Center for Meaningful Engaged Learning)
- Blog: MultiplePathways.info
- Learning Through Technology Blog: MoreVerbs.info
- Micro-credentials Project: iLearnMaine.org
- Mike’s Consulting: StudentLearning.Guru
- Mike’s Day Job: GEAR UP Maine