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Competency-Based Education (CBE): CBE & the Ontario Curriculum

Professional development resource for teachers. Created as an artifact in fulfillment of MITx: 0.502x: Competency-Based Education: The Why, What, and How


Global Competencies

The Framework of Global Competencies (formerly the Ontario 21st Century Competencies: Foundation Document for Discussion) identify the characteristics, skills and dispositions of an individual who will be successful in the 21st century.  These competencies have also been described as Transferable Skills and are embedded in the Achievement Chart under the Application category: b) transfer of knowledge and skills to new contexts; and c) making connections within and between various contexts.

Under each global competency are listed descriptors illustrating the knowledge, skills and dispositions that fully reflect the competency.  In 2018, a working group of UCDSB educators met to develop success criteria under each competency 

The image below represents a draft summary of the reporting template descriptor for report cards.  For a full description and listing of the 6 Global Competencies, click on the image or see the link below.

Ontario Transferable Skills

Achievement Chart - Content & Performance Standards

All Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum documents make reference to the Achievement Chart, which is a filter or lens to analyze or assess the extent to which a child has mastered the curricular expectations. The achievement chart specifies the content standards (content knowledge) and performance standards (learning skills) and provides criteria and descriptors under each standard.

According to the document Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools (p16,2010) "The purposes of the achievement chart are to

  • provide a common framework that encompasses all curriculum expectations for all subjects/courses across grades;
  • guide the development of high-quality assessment tasks and tools (including rubrics);
  • help teachers to plan instruction for learning;
  • provide a basis for consistent and meaningful feedback to students in relation to provincial content and performance standards;
  • establish categories and criteria with which to assess and evaluate students’ learning.

In Competency-Based Education, the content standards and performance standards would be described as competencies or proficiencies.

Achievement Chart Summary

Curricular Competencies

Other competencies that relate to CBE are curricular competencies.  Each subject area identifies overall and specific expectations which are organized into strands. Just as specific expectations feed to a thorough mastery of an expectation, overall expectations feed to mastery of a strand, or unit, which in turn feeds to mastery of the big ideas and thinking processes defined in the front matter. 

Expectations in Ontario Curriculum