Day 87 (of 187) prethink for #bcedchat sunday January 20th at 7pm on Competencies
Ahh, competencies – my first exposure to this line of thinking in an educationally focused way was through Tony Wagner and his focus on 21st century skills ~ mind you I’m starting to think about delving into 22nd century skills based on how long it has taken for those 21st century skills/the 7 Cs (seas) etc to take hold:
Communication (oral and written)
Creative Thinking (agility and adaptability)
Critical Thinking (and problem solving)
Curiosity and Imagination
Accessing and Analyzing information
Initiative and Entrepreneurship
(yes, kinda like the 3Rs, the 7Cs are not precisely lettered)
In BC, we focused on Competencies which mirror these “survival skills” for 21st Century Schools https://www.curriculum.gov.bc.ca/competencies :
Thinking (Creatively and Critically)
Personal and Social (Personal & Cultural Identity, Personal Awareness, and Social Responsibility)
But of course a question keeps popping up: how do we assess these (some would even debate should we). And I will say again and again to those still holding onto antiquated report cards: Report Cards were never meant to deal with educational mindsets such as these. They are meant to rank and compare learners based on common tasks. As we move to a more personalized level of society, where we can customize our drinks and do not expect our doctors to diagnose us simply based on our age; education must also shift – in practice and in how we communicate student learning. The competencies blend in with every subject heading. These are the skills more needed than memorizing facts for short term results (cramming for a spelling test/unit test/final exam is NOT learning, it is jumping through a hoop).
And of course our initial approach is to allow these competencies to be a connection to self assessment – something we talk about a lot but rarely practice enough until it is time to record a self assessment….but how do you know if you are good at something if its the first time – as I like to point out/remind myself: even powerpoint can be a tool for imagination and creativity the first times you use it (heck, prezi was a cool tool for awhile). Creativity is not linear – while part of a provincial committee, I restated: we cannot say that by grade 2 students will show they are creative by: ______ . Ill even take responsibility for the circular images in the creative competency area as I was pushing for circles on top of circles that would all rotate in order to give a “different” lens to look at the development of this competency.
Core competencies are evident in all elements of learning. They cross over all the subject headings and are therefore … complex … to make judgements of. Emerging? Good. Crushing it? More than just finding a symbol or wording to describe it, it can be more appropriate to show examples – ideally linked to some exemplars that will help provide examples of potential “next steps” – such as the boy I knew who liked to write backwards – but like da Vinci where you needed a mirror, not just tracing letters from right to left. Is he having challenges or gifted…or just ……
* I was planning on being at the competencies Ed amp on Saturday and the live @bcedchat event in Richmond Saturday afternoon. Instead I will be resting my head and following along asynchronously…. and wishing I was face to face with other great thinkers around the competencies we’ve embedded in the BC Curriculum (I am no longer using the term “new” in front of it – it’s time to finish the shift to communicating student learning rather than reporting student achievement)