A guest post I made for the Behavior Analysis and Technology Special Interest Group…

Behavior Analysis and Technology

Hallnaker Windmill at Sunset by sage_solar Hallnaker Windmill at Sunset by sage_solar

A close friend continually asks me, “So, are you still running at those windmills?” shaking his head a bit at what he considers to be my Don Quixote-like quest.

The “windmills” are the U.S. education system. The perceived folly is my optimistic yet grounded believe that the system can change, good things are happening, and effective instructional systems (and even an appreciation of behavior analysis) ultimately will prevail.

In this era of federally mandated educational reform and concurrent state and local resistance to top-down government directives (in the U.S. at least, with efforts such as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, the Common Core State Standards, standardized assessment), what fuels my current sense of hope? It is the surprising enthusiasm and support from school districts, states, and even federal education agencies for “competency-based” initiatives. Competency-based education (CBE) entails students’…

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