Glossary for CBA


             The following glossary includes explanations and definitions for many of the new terms in the current educational reform that are referred to throughout this site.  It is intended to help experienced and new teachers better understand and implement the ideas and values espoused by the reform.  


Competency-Based Approach: An approach which consists of organizing the content of a curriculum in terms of the development of competencies using specific pedagogical practices that correspond to the main orientations of the QEP (QEP, p.11).


Competency-Based Program: A program with the aim of ensuring “… that students’ learnings serve as tools for both action and thought… (QEP, p.4)”.


World-view:  The way we see ourselves, our surroundings and the world, as well as the way we see ourselves as part of our surroundings and as part of the world. 

*Determined by many factors.


Competency: “The QEP defines a competency as a set of behaviours based on the effective mobilization and use of a range of resources.  Set of behaviours refers to the capacity to use appropriately a variety of resources, both internal and external, in particular, learnings acquired in school or in everyday life…  The concept of resources refers not only to everything that students have learned at school, but also to their experiences, skills, interests, etc. … students may rely on many external resources, such as their classmates, their teacher, documentation, etc.  Finally, the idea of effective mobilization and use of resources implies that the behaviours associated with a competency involve more than just an automatic response or reflex.  It implies that students, in seeking to attain a clearly identified objective, deliberately acquire and use intellectual and social concepts and skills to find an appropriate answer to a question or the solution to a problem.  The competency is complex and progressive (QEP, p. 4)”. 

*Overall wholesome Skill


Cross-Curricular Competencies: The recognition of, “…the need to develop intellectual, methodological, personal, social, and communication-related competencies in all students.  These competencies are called cross-curricular because they are of a generic nature and are used in various subject areas (QEP, p. 6).”

*Broader than subject-specific competencies.


Subject-Specific Competencies:  Competencies that are specific to subject areas.


Broad Areas of Learning: “The QEP presents a number of broad areas of learning, which deal with aspects of contemporary life, and in particular, problems young people face (QEP, p.6)”.


Key Features (of the Competency): “Each competency is broken down into a number of processes considered essential for its development or exercise.  These key features connect knowledges to the processes for their integration or use (QEP, p.9).


Essential Knowledges: “These constitute the repertoire of resources indispensable for the development and exercise of the competency.  This does not mean that students may not use other resources, but that they must master these knowledges in order to develop and exercise the competency (QEP, p.9)”.

*Learnings and Techniques provided in QEP


Concept-Based Curriculum


Concept-Based Approach: An approach that consists of teachers basing their instruction on concepts expecting to foster deeper and broader understandings.


Concepts: A concept is an idea that is timeless, abstract and broad, and can be shown in a multitude of ways and through a variety of examples.   



Curriculum Map


Curriculum events: Introductory, 1, 2, 3, 4, Summary

  • Learning Targets


Essential understandings:  Essential understanding describe the important concepts or generalizations teachers and students should understand in the content area.


Event Level Concepts:  Concepts pertaining to one event.

Event Level Competencies: Competencies pertaining to one event.

Event Level key Features: Key Features pertaining to one event.

Event Level Learning Strategies: Learning strategies used during an event.

Academic Tasks:  Tasks required to be completed as part of an event.

Role of Learner:  What the learner is expected to do as part of an event.

  • Teaching Targets


Lesson Topics: Topics of study that imply a body of facts to be learned during the course of a lesson.


Modes of teaching: inquiry, problem solving, narrative, discovery, discussion, demonstration, expository.


Instructional Strategies: Strategies to foster effective and meaningful learning as part of a precise global plan for teaching a lesson, unit or courses.  Its two components are the methodology and the procedure (i.e. dialogue, modeling, questioning, role-playing…).


Teacher-Made Resources: Resources adapted and/or created by the teacher for specific outcomes.


Commercial Resources: Resources created by a third party that can be used for educational purposes.


Role of Teacher: What the teacher is expected to do as part of an event.


  • Assessment Targets


Monitoring the Process: The act of monitoring each step of the process.


Assessing the Products: The act of evaluating understanding through a final product.


Time: 1 block = 45 minutes:  Pre-determined time frame for each event.