Guest post by Mary Tighe
Personalized learning has been a hot topic lately for good reason. It’s not only a current trend, but a “very real solution for students and teachers,” according to KnowledgeWorks Senior Manager of Research and Advocacy Sarah Jenkins.
Recently, Sarah stopped by the EduTalk Radio Show along with KnowledgeWorks Director of State Policy Jesse Moyer and Elizabeth Foster, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.
The trio discussed a recent paper, “The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers,” and promoted our upcoming webinar. Specifically, the discussion honed in on what educators have said they need to personalize learning in their classroom.
Here are five things teachers need for personalized learning, according to teachers:
- A supportive, collaborative culture: A good school culture is crucial. In a successful personalized learning environment, teachers collaborate with each other and are encouraged to lead the shift in the classroom.
- A better understanding: “A lot of teachers haven’t been trained to do personalized learning. If we’re expecting these new practices to emerge in their classrooms, then we need to give them professional development that’s personalized to their needs,” Elizabeth said.
- Time, time, time: They need collaborative time with peers, time to examine student data to know where their learners are, and time from the beginning to figure out what personalized learning means and looks like to them.
- A culture of continuous improvement: They need to know that their colleagues, administrators and district offices are going to support them as they try new things and learn how to implement personalized learning in their classroom.
- Meaningful professional development: “When we talk about personalized learning, it’s not just for the students but also for the teachers. We cannot have a system where teachers are sitting in a room and talked at for professional development. It has to be collaborative and personalized,” Sarah said.