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Personalized Learning: Preparing Every Student for Success

How can teachers realistically personalize learning for every student? This is a common question from educators, administrators and parents first exploring a shift from traditional learning environments to student-centered learning.

Student-centered learning and teaching

Effectively personalizing learning for every student requires commitment to a vision for student-centered learning vs teacher-centered learning. In a personalized approach, the role of the teacher is more important than ever. Educators build a culture that provides students ownership of their learning, supports individual learning needs and cultivates unique interests and strengths to ensure students succeed.

Effectively personalizing learning for every student requires commitment to a vision for student-centered learning vs teacher-centered learning.

Personalized learning is made possible through:

  • Deeper learning: Educators help students regularly practice problem-finding and problem-solving tasks that engage students by connecting to their interests. Systems provide flexibility for immersive experiences both inside and outside of school, with personalized methods to demonstrate evidence of deeper learning, including knowledge application, critical thinking and collaboration skills.
  • Equitable and essential curriculum: Instruction, assessment and student supports focus on ensuring every student progresses through a transparent learning continuum. This student learning continuum is aligned to your state’s standards and clearly articulates the curriculum and realistic learning targets every student is expected to master.
  • Learner agency: Educators empower students to have voice and choice in how, when and where they learn and demonstrate mastery. By giving ownership of learning outcomes to students, educators help students become expert learners, understanding the ways they best engage with content and provide evidence of learning.
  • Social-emotional skill development: Educators focus on helping students develop a growth mindset, self-knowledge, empathy and emotional intelligence to prepare them with the skills they need to advocate for themselves in an uncertain future.

Community-wide vision, culture and transparency

Scaling these practices to impact every student in a district requires a deep focus on systemic alignment and a community-wide commitment to:

  • A clear vision for all students that incorporates all community voices and focuses on the knowledge, skills and characteristics you hope your graduates will embody.
  • An empowering culture that encourages educators to take risks, trying creative ways to support individual student needs, learn from failure and collaborate to continuously improve.
  • Transparent practices to ensure students and their families know what each child is expected to master and so that the community understands how decisions are made about teaching and learning practices.

Our Laying the Groundwork Toolkit can help you with creating, communicating and sustaining your vision for personalized learning.