The Shift

Dimensions of Major Shifts from Traditional to Competency-Based Education

The major shifts in moving from traditional education to CBE happen at three levels within the school system: at the organizational level, the teaching-learning level, and the classroom level. As classrooms shift to a more personalized CBE focus, there needs to be alignment within and across the organizational level and teaching and learning structures in order to realize student centered practices in a classroom.

As you examine the different dimensions of the CBE shifts, you may notice that your school or district tends to be more traditional for some of these dimensions and more progressive toward CBE in others. This is a great vantage point for asking yourselves what portal of entry is best for your school to explore more formally in your transition to fully systemic, learner-centered, sustainable, competency-based education.

Click through the tabs below to view the full dimensions!

Download MAjor organizational shifts

Shifts in Structure for Teaching and Learning


Academic Competencies

Personal Success Skills

Performance Assessments

Evidence-Based Grading

Traditional Descriptor

Academic content defined by standards. High School graduation dependent of accrual of time-based credit accrual.

Undefined or randomly  integrated into instruction but rarely assessed.

Professional culture reflects top-down hierarchy with little collaborative decision making at the school or teacher level. Teachers isolated in their work roles.

Subjective grading procedures from teacher to teacher across the K-12 continuum. Grading generally based on the average of scores. 0-100 point scale predominates middle and high school grading schema.


Competency-Based Education Descriptor

A well articulated, coherent system of academic and personal competencies, K-12, leads to  graduation competencies.

Locally determined graduation personal skills and dispositions are identified and assessed by students against a developmental continuum of skill sets leading to the graduation expectations for personal skill sets. Social emotional learning integration into authentic academic learning. Supported by learning sciences- Learning is a social interaction.

Performance tasks and project based learning identify academic competencies integrated with personal success skills that are based on higher level Depth of Knowledge performance.

Proficiency is determined by a holistic proficiency scale that guides task rubric writing. This determination of proficiency is the anchor for K-12 grading system.

Interested in learning how CBE Solutions can help you and your organization navigate the shift toward CBE through the use of reflective scales, professional development, or instructional coaching?

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