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Defining Content in a PCBE System Using Proficiency Scales
Signature PD Service
Reinventing Schools PD Services
Reinventing Schools PD Services

Defining Content in a PCBE System Using Proficiency Scales

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What content will you address in your personalized competency-based system? How will you organize and structure it to maximize transparency? To support college- and career-readiness and develop student agency, we recommend that schools integrate into the curriculum a combination of academic content (English language arts, mathematics, science, health, computer science, and so on), cognitive skills (skills we use to process information), and metacognitive skills (skills that help us perform mental and physical actions more effectively). This combination of knowledge and skills will help your school develop lifelong learners, cultivate curiosity, and facilitate student agency.

How you structure the content is also a critical consideration. Competency-based systems require transparency of learning objectives, current status, and progression in the learning continuum. Proficiency scales—a variation of a learning progression—provide this transparency and create the foundation for teaching, learning, assessing, and measuring in a personalized competency-based system.

This interactive workshop introduces the concepts of learning target, measurement topic, learning progression, and proficiency scales. Learn how to address cognitive and metacognitive skills across levels and subject areas. Use your local standards to practice creating or adapting proficiency scales and explore the importance of proficiency scales in learning and instruction, assessment, and measurement in a personalized competency-based system.

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Learning Outcomes

This professional development will provide opportunities to work with your curriculum to practice, plan, and learn about the following topics:
  • How to integrate academic content, cognitive skills, and metacognitive skills into your school curriculum
  • An approach for distributing a set of cognitive and metacognitive skills across grade/performance levels and subject areas
  • The concepts of learning target, measurement topic, learning progression, and proficiency scale
  • Strategies for addressing the problem of too much content by prioritizing and unpacking standards to create a reasonable number of measurement topics for each grade or performance level
  • How to use the Marzano Research Critical Concepts to identify measurement topics and customize proficiency scales for your standards and students
  • How proficiency scales establish the foundation for an approach to teaching, learning, assessing, and measuring in a personalized competency-based system
  • How to write and adapt a set of proficiency scales and create a plan for developing proficiency scales across grade/performance levels and subject areas

Recommended Participants

School leaders, teachers

Time Frame

Offered as three modules, one day each: Introduction, Customizing Critical Concepts, Creating Proficiency Scales
May include additional workshop sessions and/or webinars to provide feedback and support to teacher teams working on proficiency scales