Understanding implementation of proficiency-based education in Maine

By Education Development Center

Education Development Center (EDC) conducted this study as part of the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative’s initial cycle of research. The team at EDC worked alongside fellow scholars, educators and policymakers to investigate the impact of specific student-centered practices and then translate their findings for cross-sector audiences.

EDC’s final report, Understanding Implementation of Proficiency-Based Education in Maine, represents their work over the past two years as they partnered with ten districts in rural Maine to examine the extent to which students were exposed to and experienced proficiency-based education.

Research Questions
  • To what extent do specific patterns of student exposure to student-centered, proficiency-based education exist? What are the characteristics of the exposure profiles? What predicts membership in the exposure profiles?
  • How is student exposure to student-centered, proficiency-based education associated with student academic and engagement outcomes? Do associations between exposure and outcomes vary as a function of student characteristics?
  • What is the nature of implementation and what factors contribute to variability in the implementation of practices aligned with principles of student-centered, proficiency-based
Key Findings
  • Students with greater exposure to proficiency-based practices tended to demonstrate higher levels of engagement.
  • Students with individualized educational plans tended to have the greatest exposure to proficiency-based education.
  • In the early stages of implementation of proficiency-based education found in the Maine schools, traditional classroom practices were still fairly commonplace.

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