If you want to know where personalized learning and competency-based learning is headed just look at Northern Cass 97 School District in North Dakota where the future is now. The elimination of grades, self-guided education, and teachers no longer teach but advise and facilitate.
Chris Berdik writing for The Hechinger Report calls this a “bold experiment.” He’s half-right.
It is an experiment as all of the latest education fads are. It isn’t particularly bold when this is where personalized learning and competency-based education does by design, and this is what the education reform group think cheerleads.
One recent spring afternoon, about a dozen Northern Cass students working on laptops made themselves comfortable in a large classroom with mobile furniture, beanbag pillows and a plush blue couch.
The kids were rounding out eighth or ninth grade, but that had little to do with their choices of self-paced lessons in several subjects. Some had finished all the material pegged to their grade level months ago and had moved on, while others were taking more time.
Two teachers, known as “academic advisors,” were on call to field questions and ensure everybody stayed on task (the teachers also lead weekly seminars or labs to bolster the computer work).