We interviewed teachers across the nation about personalized learning. From all of our interviews, here are nine teachers we think you should know about.

To Get Personalized Learning Right, Work on Your Vision, Culture, and Transparency

When we first wrote about the district conditions for scaling personalized learning© in 2014, we focused heavily on the 10 conditions needed to scale personalized learning across a district. As we conducted the interviews for the research prior to publishing the paper, the meta themes; vision, culture, and transparency; just sort of emerged. Honestly, they were an afterthought. As we’ve continued this line of research and talked to practitioners and policymakers over the last two years, those themes have persisted and we’ve come to see them not as secondary, but as central to the implementation of personalized learning.

As defined in the initial district conditions paper:

  • The vision should be shared with all members of a learning community and give each member a sense of their role within the community.
  • The culture of a district should allow for innovation and continuous improvement by giving leaders, teachers, and students the room to take risks and learn from failure.
  • Transparency allows members of the learning community to be informed about what’s happening and play an active role in creating the desired culture.

For more information about the meta themes, you can download our most recent paper, The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers, to learn how vision, culture, and transparency impact what happens in the classroom.

You’ll notice in the graphic below that the meta themes are at the center of the district conditions. That is because without a clear vision, a culture of innovation, and the transparency to allow innovation to become part of that culture, nothing else matters. In discussions with district and school leaders and teachers all over the country, time and again they point to the meta themes as the key to their success. Simply put, if you don’t get the meta themes right, you’re not going to get personalized learning right.

Meta themes that came out during our interviews with teachers about personalized learning were culture, transparency and vision.
See a larger version of this graphic and read our full white paper, “The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers.”

Don’t want to take my word for it? Attend our webinar on October 11, 2016 to hear practitioners talk about their experiences implementing personalized learning in their districts and the importance of vision, culture, and transparency.

Read more teacher perspectives on personalized learning in our recent paper, ‘The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers.’In our research for ‘The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers,” we interviewed teachers, instructional coaches and principals from across the country who lead personalized learning implementation in their communities across the country. Read our findings.


Jesse Moyer

Written by: Jesse Moyer

Jesse Moyer is the Senior Director, School Development with KnowledgeWorks. He is a believer in public education working and passionate about family, sports and fishing.

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