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The 5 main principles of Competency based education

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

There will always be a need for more effective teaching methods. As a school administrator, you probably spend too much time considering how to enhance the educational opportunities for the children that come and go over the years.


Core Competencies serve as the foundational pillars for the Big Ideas, Curricular Competencies, and Content in our curriculum.


This fundamental framework guarantees that students continuously track and assess their development in the Core Competencies. They achieve this by reflecting on their own behaviour, evaluating their own performance, and presenting proof of their development.



After all, what they learn (and how they learn it) will shape these pupils as they mature, thereby assisting them in becoming successful adults.


What is competency based education?

Competency-based education (CBE) is a teaching, learning, and assessment strategy that puts an emphasis on how well students demonstrate their understanding of learning objectives and mastery of specific competencies in each topic.



Competency based education gives a clear focus on preparing students for the next stage of their life, whether it be college or a career.


Top 5 main principles of Competency based education:


1. Education Gives Skills That Last a Lifetime

Competencies go beyond only what you know intellectually. They focus on your capacity to use and apply that information in practical settings. Consequently, when we discuss competencies, we take into account:

  • Grasping Important Ideas : This refers to having a thorough comprehension of a topic's fundamental ideas.

  • Using What You Know : Can you take what you've learned and use it to solve real-world problems?

  • Skill Mastery : It's not just about knowledge; it's about being really good at important skills related to the topic.

  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills : Education often involves group projects, presentations, and conversations that aid in the development of strong interpersonal and communication skills that are essential in both personal and professional situations.


2. Prioritizing Fairness in Education

Giving every student the same resources is not what constitutes fairness in the educational system. It involves making certain that each student obtains the materials they require in order to accomplish the same goals.


This idea is at the heart of competency-based education, which makes it a priority to identify and get rid of biases in educational leadership. By teaching and supporting students based on their individual strengths and difficulties, the playing field is leveled for all students. As a result, academic outcomes are no longer consistent with socioeconomic level, family income, cultural background, or linguistic ability.


Additionally, competency-based teaching promotes a climate in which each student feels respected, secure, and acknowledged.


3. Clarity in Objectives Empowers Student Autonomy

A Boy is asking questions about clarity in objectives.
Clarity in Objectives Empowers Student Autonomy

Why Students Need Clear Goals Like GPS ?

Have you ever attempted a road trip without a map or GPS? I know, it's confusing. When they don't have clear study goals, kids experience that. Let's examine why setting clear objectives is like providing pupils with their own personal educational GPS:

  • Students aren't getting lost in their studies when there are clear objectives. Half the battle won because they know where they're going!

  • Having a cheat sheet of what to expect makes things easier. Students might approach things with a "I can do this!" mentality.

  • Learning becomes a thrilling adventure rather than a collection of random facts when kids are able to understand the larger picture (due to those distinct objectives).

  • In addition to the regular classes, students are taught cool life skills like time management and problem-solving via specific targets. Bonus!

  • Despite the unpredictability of life, pupils who have a feeling of purpose (due to specific aims) are better prepared to deal with whatever comes their way.

In a nutshell, clear objectives are like giving students a compass for their educational journey. And who wouldn't want that?


4. Customized Help for Every Student's Journey

Consider a student named Priya who is engaged in research for a project on the celebrated Indian "Rangoli" art of Diwali. She is making an effort to include different culturally significant patterns and symbols. However, she's struggling to get the symmetry right and to understand the deeper meanings behind certain patterns.


Priya is aware that in a competency-based educational system, she should make some effort to resolve her problems on her own before seeking assistance. She decides it's time to speak with her teacher after making multiple attempts and yet failing to achieve the intended result.



This is the foundation of competency-based education's teacher-student relationship. Teachers actively participate in the learning process rather than simply watching from the sidelines. They actively track each student's development rather than just waiting for students like Priya to raise their hands.


Consider the extensive utilisation of educational websites like Vedantu in India. It serves as a link between teachers and students, enabling individualised coaching. It is more than just a learning software. While students immerse themselves in interactive modules, teachers can identify any potential difficulties a student may be having.


The fundamental idea behind competency-based education is to give each student the personalised support they require, whether Priya is attempting to master her Rangoli or another student is seeking to understand a historical event. It's about giving every student, regardless of where they start, an equal chance to understand and master a concept. Every student is given the resources and direction they need through this method to overcome obstacles and succeed.


5. How Teachers Measure Your Growth and Mastery

Assessments are instruments to determine how much you've learned and where you might need a little more assistance; they are not only about grades. Assessments in competency-based education are entirely focused on comprehension and development. Let's examine a few of the major types:


Formative Assessments: Checking In As You Learn

  • These serve as mini-checkpoints to monitor how you're progressing as you study.

  • They assist teachers in identifying potential areas of difficulty so that they can offer immediate assistance.

  • Consider that you are studying Indian history. Your teacher can ask you to create a brief film or digital presentation about Emperor Akbar after you've studied the Mughal Empire. This isn't simply to determine your grade; it's to determine how well you comprehended the subject. The teacher knows to spend a little more time on it if some kids find it challenging.


Authentic Assessments: Using What You've Learned in Real Life

  • You must apply what you have learned in these exercises to actual circumstances.

  • They demonstrate that you have not only retained information but can also put it to use.

  • Take for example that you have been studying English grammar and writing. Your teacher can ask you to create an official letter asking for a modification in the school timetable and address it to a fictitious principal. Or, if you've been learning the fundamentals of engineering, you can be asked to construct a bridge solely out of straws and tape.


Remember, these assessments aren't about making things tough for you. They're about helping you learn better and ensuring you're ready to use your knowledge in the real world!


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