Why do Merit Badges make sense in education?
If we assume there would be about 500 K-12 merit badges (i.e., about one eighth of the number of individual standards, but about 8 times the number of courses or subject-years), badges are
1. Right sized: bigger than a lesson on a subskill and smaller than a course on a subject, a unit that takes about 1-3 weeks to complete is just right to guide personalized progress.
2. Motivational: badge accumulation will increase persistence and time on task.
3. Flexible: units of study can be constructed using a variety of strategies that leverage community assets, industry clusters, and interests.
4. Competency-based: students can take as much or as little time on particular units as necessary. Multiple assessments will certify mastery.
5. Personalized: student will have some ability to choose the badges they work on and, within each badge, can customize their learning and how they demonstrate mastery.