Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
In association with the The Adler-Aquinas Institute and Aquinas School of Leadership
Member of the Alliance for Liberal Learning

Thursday, December 4, 2014

What Competency-based Education Cannot Do: Part I

Christopher B. Nelson, president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, argues at SignPosts for Liberal Education that
"for liberal education, teachers and classes are essential. Why? Because it’s not just about information, but about dialectic."
He opposes education based on testing student competency in various areas.
"In particular, the highest goal of dialectic—namely, dependable judgment based on thorough consideration of issues that really matter in life—is not assessable by 'objective' testing instruments. It can only be assessed by competent dialecticians who watch students’ progress over time as they grapple with ideas, listen to others, join with others in inquiry, become proficient at asking insightful questions, become deft at working through premises and consequences, and so on."

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