Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Perks of Personalizing: 3 Reasons to Personalize Learning

Personalized Learning in the Common Core Standards

By Amy Esselman

personalized learning in the common core standards - 3 reasons to personalize learning in your classroom.
Students are all different. It’s obvious. You could have kids in your class who are more methodical, or ones who would prefer to take risks and get creative.

There is no surefire way to categorize or standardize students. Besides, why would you want to? We all learn differently. We should continue to embrace that. Instead of telling students how to learn, we need to teach them to take charge, blaze their own path. Personalized learning is a huge part of that lesson.

Here are the top 3 reasons to personalize learning in your classroom:

1. You're Teaching a Student, Not a Lesson

Personalizing a student’s education means taking an interest in their skills, abilities, likes and dislikes. When you personalize how and what a student learns it gives them the very best possibility of improving and actually taking that knowledge along with them.

When I was in the early stages of school, there wasn’t much personalization going on in classrooms. The lessons were defined and we all got there using the same path. Personalizing the experience would have meant acknowledging the multiple roads that exist to arrive at the same solution. Instead of full class lessons, students can do any number of alternatives: individual projects, peer-to-peer learning, research, presentations—the list goes on!

 2. Common Core Standards Make It Easier

The Common Core is almost perfectly aligned with the concept of personalized learning. The Standards will make the skills students should know consistent across the board. It won’t be a guessing game as to what skills students will need—they’re all laid out. It doesn’t matter how they learn them, but just that they do. This type of flexibility within education means that teachers can approach these skills in ways that interest, inspire and motivate the kids in their class. They don’t all need to be doing the same thing, yet in the end they will each have reached the same level.

The Common Core is not just another set of standards to implement because someone said so. They could be truly instrumental in changing the future of education and ensuring that all students receive the necessary support to succeed.

3. You Give the Student a Voice

Personalized education gives students a voice and an opportunity to take an active role in their education. When we recognize that students can’t all be treated the same we are setting them up for success—saying “you are all capable of learning this, how would you like to approach this?”

I would have loved to customize my time in the classroom. I think back and wonder if the areas I struggled in would make more sense if they were tailored to my interests and skills. I stumbled through because that’s what you had to do, but would it have helped to have to set my own goals and approach them in my own way, at my own pace? Absolutely.

1 comment:

  1. "You're teaching a student not a lesson". Teach the student the lesson, right on! I have been saying this exact thought out loud since I began my research and work with PDL a month ago or so. New to the concept and topic, please excuse my unintentional ignorance, it is exciting and invigorating and makes me excited to learn and teach and interact. Very cool.