Getting Started with Proficiency-based Learning – Session Resources

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

Focus on the Classroom and Learner-Centered Instruction
Standards, Tracking Learning, Standards-based Grading


A Few Last Thoughts


Bottom Line:

Get Together, Get Going, Keep Going, Don’t Stop


Mike’s Sites:


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