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

The Role of Student Supports in Personalizing Learning

In order to learn more about how the district conditions for scaling personalized learning impact teachers’ practice, KnowledgeWorks listened to teachers from across the country as they told us about the personalized learning experience. This research culminated in “The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers.”

One of those conditions, student supports, is defined as:

Students should get the supports and interventions they need to be successful when they need them, not after they’ve taken a summative assessment at the end of the year. These supports should be informed by instant feedback based on frequent formative assessments and, to the extent possible, be embedded in learning. Schools should be given the flexibility to use the time in the school day/year as they see t in order to provide these supports.

Many of the interviews we conducted spoke to the foundational nature of providing customized students supports in a personalized learning system. In a personalized learning environment, data is continually collected and acted on in real time. Students are able to receive the supports they need, when they need them. These supports could be of a remedial nature to boost student achievement or delivered as a way to deepen a student’s learning. Several teachers identified the schedules as a barrier to a personalized system of student supports. As a result, classroom learning environments are often adjusted by the teacher in order to provide the flexibility for supports to be embedded in day-to-day lessons.

As one practitioner told us, “It’s about analyzing data. We said we did it in a traditional setting, but we never looked at where every individual was. Now we can analyze, check and adjust. Back in traditional classrooms, we said we did centers, but now we rotate based on needs. In the small group setting, I’m meeting their needs at the center. It’s individualized and targeted.”

Read more teacher perspectives on personalized learning in our recent paper, ‘The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers.’For more on just-in-time student supports in a personalized learning environment, including interview excerpts and school and district examples, read ‘The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers.

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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