The world is changing and our schools need to keep up. Students need to become problem solvers and collaborators. They need to take ownership of their learning and become lifelong learners. To do this, students need learning in classrooms to be accessible, relevant, and reflective of how they learn outside of school. We think classroom environments need to change in order to meet the needs of students today and prepare them for tomorrow. Personalized learning helps us do that.
We believe that personalized learning does not exist in a contextual vacuum. We believe that in fact, personalized learning should be informed by the following four guiding principles, and that instructional and systemic shifts should rest on these foundational ideas - that personalized learning is student-centered, equity provides a powerful reason to personalize learning, nurturing learning environments create the conditions to personalize, and that data informs an approach that is responsive and user centered.
The Core Four is a framework for understanding the practices, mindsets, knowledge, and priorities that best personalize learning for students. Classrooms that personalize learning shift away from teacher-directed lessons towards experiences that build every student’s ownership of their learning. Those learning experiences require educators to have a foundational understanding of social emotional learning and culturally responsive instruction.
While every project is different, because every district is different, there are five main ways we support districts:
The implementation of personalized learning creates an opportunity for educators to meet the needs of all students, honor their uniqueness, and build ownership of learning. When schools prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion, they create an environment where personalized learning is most likely to be successful.
The challenges associated with personalizing learning in secondary schools are often the result of well-meaning motivations, externally imposed factors, and self-imposed complications. Read more about these common challenges, and how to support secondary transformation.
Change is hard. This is especially true for leaders introducing personalized learning into their organizations. I often have a front-row seat to the resulting backlash and chaos that stems from leaders as they help their districts make shifts toward PL