Connecting classroom learning with learning that happens in the community through partnerships can be a powerful tool to scaling personalized learning.

The Role of Partnerships in Personalized Learning

To learn more about how the district conditions for scaling personalized learning  impacts teachers’ practice, KnowledgeWorks interviewed teachers from across the country as they talked about their experiences. This research culminated in “The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers.”

One of those conditions, partnerships, is defined as:

Districts should cultivate partnerships with business, community, and higher education constituents in their communities (including local and county government, recreation, juvenile justice, faith-based, etc.). These entities should be involved in creating a district vision and strategic plan that is aligned with a broader economic and workforce development plan for the community. All aspects of teaching and learning within the district (curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, etc.) should be aligned to this vision. In addition, these partners should assist with creating various learning opportunities (internships, mentor programs, work-based experiences, service learning, etc.) and publish a list of these opportunities for all learners.

Connecting learning that happens in the classroom with learning that happens in the community can be a powerful tool to scaling personalized learning. In addition to increasing engagement of learners and others in the learning community, partnerships can drive life-long learning for all students. Effective partnerships are based on students’ interests and, when leveraged fully, can narrow the divide between schools and the community while promoting transparency and strong communication with all stakeholders. As districts begin to build partnerships with the community, the district’s vision should be top of mind. Specifically, partners should be involved in creating, measuring progress towards, and refining the vision.

As one practitioner told us, “We’re seeing folks from around the world who come and have great things to say. It’s great to have the recognition and feedback, and it’s a good way to look at learning differently. On the flip side, we still haven’t arrived. We visit other sites quite often.”

Read more teacher perspectives on personalized learning in our recent paper, ‘The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers.’For more on partnerships 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 Director of State Advocacy and Research with KnowledgeWorks. He is a believer in public education working and passionate about family, sports and fishing.

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