Unlike traditional learning where a teacher derivers the same instructional programs to a whole class with very little consideration to a students’ unique ability or skills, competency-based education is a more student-focused approach that works by identifying a students’ strengths and works at mastering those skills and knowledge that they may be applicable in real-life situations. (Note, however, that competency-based curriculums and programs may defer from country to country or from school to school depending on the education policies of that particular country/state or school)
Here are just but a few pros and cons of Competency-Based Curriculums.
Pros of Competency-Based Education (CBE)
- Skills and Experience is gained
One of the most fascinating things about a competency-based curriculum is the fact that students are groomed up to become leaders and masters in their chosen fields. The hands-on approach of CBE also gives students tangible experience that is not found in the traditional learning method.
- Flexibility in the learning process
CBE programs offer an amazingly flexible schedule in which students don’t have to attend classes that they have already mastered. This gives the learner ample time to concentrate on other tasks at hand.
- Goal driven
Competency-based programs come with a clear goal in mind of what needs to be accomplished. This purpose-driven approach is key to success and offers a vibrant learning culture.
- Quality education
The personalized way of teaching offered by CBE means that each student gets to learn and acquire the specific sets of skill and knowledge that he/she requires.
- Students learn at their own speed
Every person in the world is different and unique; some people are fast learners and some of us take a little more time to get things going. CBE addresses this issue by offering a great learning system where all students can learn at their pace.
- Good assessment and grading system
Traditional learning programs focus more on summative assessment and grading where all students in a particular class are assessed at the same time and using the same method. However, CBE changes all this by documenting each step of a learners’ improvement and adjusting to that. In my own words – “rather than competing with other students, the learner is in an environment where he or she is competing with him/her-self”.
Learning at your own pace means that the faster and smarter a learner is, the quicker he or she will be able to finish his or her program, meaning he/she will pay much lower fees.
Cons of Competency-Based Education (CBE)
- Lack of social learning
Unlike the traditional method of learning where students do a lot of class activities together, CBE offers a personalized learning style which may inhabit social learning which is a key factor when it comes to developing good social traits.
- Students must be self-disciplined
CBE offers a lot of freedom and flexibility to a student which is a good thing, however, this also means that a students’ success mainly depends on his /her ability to be time conscious, self-disciplined, and avoid procrastination that comes with all that freedom.
- May end up being costly for slow learning students
Though it may be affordable and efficient to fast learning students, slow learning students may incur higher school fees because of repeating classes they have not mastered.
Compared to Traditional Learning Program, Competency-Based Curriculum is an amazing learning platform whose advantages greatly out-shines its disadvantages.