Mastering the Art of Early Education Through Competency-Based Learning

 24th February 2023

In recent years, there has been a shift in the Early Years Care and Education (ECE) sector towards a more competency-based approach to learning. This shift is being driven by a number of factors, including the need for ECE educators to have a deeper understanding of child development and the move towards more child-centered pedagogies.

The competency-based learning approach is based on the premise that students learn best when they are able to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world situations. This hands-on learning approach is aligned with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), which emphasizes the importance of active learning experiences for young children.

If you are an Early Years Care and Education (ECE) educator who is interested in learning exciting modern teaching approaches like competency-based, then we do recommend our Diploma in Early Years Care and Education training!


Now, let’s get to know there’s everything about Competency-Based Education (CBE) approach.

What is Competency-Based Education (CBE)?

Competency-based education (CBE) is an approach to learning that focuses on the student’s abilities and abilities to apply knowledge and skills to real-world contexts. This approach focuses on mastery rather than memorizing material, with the goal of preparing students for life after formal education.

In CBE, students are challenged to apply their knowledge and skills to meaningful problems, and their progress is tracked throughout the program. CBE is typically context-based, with each competency built upon the knowledge and understanding gained from prior topics and contexts. Students are also given more control over their own learning, as they must self-regulate their learning and use planning and problem-solving strategies to complete tasks.

At a classroom level, CBE requires teachers to assess students holistically, taking into account their physical, social, and emotional development.

Why is CBE Important for Early Years Care Educators?

Competency-based Education (CBE) or Competency-based learning is increasingly becoming the dominant approach to teaching and learning in the ECE sector. This approach is seen as best in line with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).

The EYLF is based on the view that young children develop best and learn best through meaningful, active, and purposeful experiences. Thus, the competency-based approach enables educators to create an environment that encourages learning through problem-solving, cooperation, exploration, creativity, and critical thinking.

CBE also provides an opportunity for children to become responsible, resilient, and confident learners. It enables them to foster a deep understanding of concepts, become more independent in their learning, and develop the skills needed to reach their full potential.

In addition, CBE has the potential to foster meaningful collaboration and the development of strong relationships between students, educators, and families.

What are the Key Elements of CBE?

The key elements of Competency-Based Education (CBE) can be broken down into four main categories, including Back mapping, Assessment, Personalization, and Scaffolding/Differentiation.

  1. Backmapping is a process that involves looking at learning outcomes from the perspective of the end goal, then mapping the steps which must be taken in order to reach that goal. This helps to create a clear plan and timeline for learning and allows educators to identify areas that students may be struggling with.
  2. Assessment is an important part of CBE and involves assessing students’ progress against predetermined learning objectives. Educators must look beyond test scores and develop appropriate assessment tools that are designed to measure the student’s comprehension and application of the concepts they are learning.
  3. Personalization is another key element of CBE. This involves providing individualized learning plans for students and allowing them to control their own learning journey. This includes giving them choices about the way they learn, the tasks they complete, and the resources they use.
  4. Scaffolding and differentiation are two important components of CBE. Educators must provide scaffolding for students throughout the learning process, and differentiate tasks for varying levels of competency and skill.

How can CBE be Implemented in Early Years Care Settings?

CBE can be implemented in Early Years Care settings in a variety of ways, depending on the context and learning objectives. It is important for educators to create a learning environment that encourages discovery and exploration, while still providing support, guidance and structure.

  • One way to do this is to provide students with a framework of learning objectives and to give them ownership of the learning process.
  • Educators should create activities that promote problem-solving and the transfer of knowledge to real-world situations. Additionally, tools such as rubrics, checklists, and problem scenarios can be used to monitor and provide feedback on student progress.
  • It is also important to ensure that students have access to appropriate resources and technology to support their learning. This could include online or digital resources, library books, or interactives that can be used to explore concepts in more detail.
  • It is also beneficial to use collaborative learning strategies, such as peer mentoring and group discussions, to promote the transfer of knowledge between students.

What are the Benefits of CBE for Early Years Care Educators?

  • The most important benefit of CBE for Early Years Care Educators is that it enables them to create contexts and activities which foster authentic, purposeful, and meaningful learning experiences for children.
  • CBE provides a more holistic approach to learning, where play is seen as an essential part of the learning process.
  • It is also a more flexible approach to teaching, as it allows for individualization and provides educators with the opportunity to be creative in the types of teaching and learning experiences they create.
  • CBE enables educators to assess students in more meaningful ways, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of the child’s development and potential. Moreover, it supports the development of important skills, such as collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

Final Thoughts

Competency-Based Education (CBE) is an increasingly popular approach to learning in the Early Years Care and Education sector. This approach enables educators to create meaningful, active, and purposeful learning experiences for children and encourages students to take control of their own learning. Ultimately, Competency-based learning provides students with the tools and skills they need to become successful lifelong learners.

To learn more exciting and modern-day teaching approaches we do recommend you to go through our Diploma in Early Years Care and Education Program, which will definitely help to achieve your teaching goals.

Written By : Victoria Lewis


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