Next week, KnowledgeWorks is co-hosting a webinar with the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF). The topic of the webinar will be the jointly released paper, The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers©. Joining us will be several panelists who participated in the research for the paper:
- Angela Patterson, Swanson Elementary School, Elmbrook Schools, Wisconsin, 5th Grade Team Teacher
- James Murray, Waukesha STEM Academy, School District of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Principal
- Jill Thompson, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina, Director of Personalized Learning
Each panelist will discuss the work happening in their schools and districts, including the successes and, to me the most interesting part of the conversation, what they learned from the challenges that come with implementing personalized learning. For practitioners working in a personalized learning environment, this is must see!
As beneficial as this webinar will be for practitioners, they aren’t the only education constituents that will find the webinar valuable. Policymakers will also find the information useful, especially since they are in the midst of making plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act. At KnowledgeWorks, we have a strongly held belief that effective policy must be grounded in good practice. I like to call it the Hessian School of education policy. As Rick Hess says, policy is a blunt tool that can make people do things; it can’t make them do things well. Put another way, if policy isn’t based in good practice, the best-case scenario is that policy will be disconnected from practice. Worse case, it inhibits best practices that could be benefitting the students we serve.
If you’re a policymaker interested in personalized learning, do yourself a favor and take an hour to listen to what these outstanding practitioners have to say about the shifting paradigm of teaching in a personalized learning school.