How 2Revolutions & Southern New Hampshire University are Rethinking Assessment
By Adam Rubin (2Revolutions) & Paul Ezen (SNHU)
Developing a mastery-based school is complex. Especially as you scale it across your school and district. In response to that, 2Revolutions and Southern New Hampshire University have partnered to develop a different type of training experience that we will launch nationally starting late Fall 2018--a Master’s of Education in Leading and Learning in a Competency-Based Environment.
Imagine a learning experience that is focused on both the individual learner and a group of educators from your district rather than one or the other; one that is driven from where you are versus assuming that one size fits all; one that is based on evidence of transference to your practice rather than seat time assumptions; and one in which coursework is rich and plentiful but optional based on your learning needs. These are all critical elements in this very different program- the goal is to develop a national model that rethinks capacity building as an important lever toward transformation.
The design for this program is anchored to three big ideas:
- The program models the process and focuses on the content of leading and learning in a competency-based model. The program is designed to deepen educators’ and leaders capacities to be competency-based practitioners. This means generating content aligned to these capacities, and ensuring that learners experience competency-based education in their own learning process. Learning will blend virtual (80%) and in-person (20%) modalities. This flipped model increases accessibility and prioritizes collaboration in face-to-face learning. The program values learning, not seat time. Learners will advance along personalized learning paths based on demonstration of mastery.
- Participants will focus on three sets of competencies. The program aims to deepen learners’ competencies in three areas: skills and dispositions, teaching and learning competencies, and leadership competencies. These competencies are intentionally bundled and sequenced across three stackable blocks. Specifically, program designers share the vital importance of developing a learning orientation, a belief in engendering agency as core to learning, and a commitment to educational equity.
- Authentic problem-based learning is a the driver of participants’ learning. Program designers set out to address a problem in traditional higher education: learning is disconnected from practice. To correct for this, the program is designed for hybrid district teams. Ten to fifteen-person teams will ideally include classroom, school, and district-level leaders. Because competency-based education emphasizes collaborative practice rather than hierarchical structure, teams will be asked engage in embedded problems of practice in “flat” learning structures, and each participant will bring their expertise to the table. This approach is intended to achieve two outcomes: grounding learning in practice, and building capacity for collaborative leadership across the system.