FOCUS

Authors clarify what personalized learning is - and what it can do

By Suzanne Bouffard
August 2019
Vol. 40 No. 4

How do we engage every student in rigorous and meaningful learning? How do we ensure that each of them is prepared for a successful future, whatever he or she might choose that to be? Our equity imperative compels us to meet the unique needs of each student, and therefore to prepare all educators to achieve that ambitious goal. A growing focus on this goal is helping to fuel a movement for personalizing learning.

In this issue of The Learning Professional, we embrace the current dialogue and debate about what personalized learning is and can be, giving voice to diverse perspectives and approaches.(See, for example, “What does personalized learning mean? Experts weigh in” on p. 28.) Some of the issue’s authors write about schools in which students determine their own projects and learning goals. Others paint a picture in which all students access the same content but at their own pace. All share a common goal of educational equity, and all place a high priority on preparing and supporting educators with quality professional learning. In this issue of #LearnFwdTLP, @LearningForward embraces the current dialogue about what personalized learning is and can be to meet all students’ needs. Click To Tweet

In this issue, the expanded Focus section includes articles on how professional learning can equip teachers to personalize learning for their students as well as articles on how educators can experience personalization themselves.

As they illustrate, personalization does not mean educators engage in professional learning disconnected from one another or from collective goals (see, for example, “One vision, many paths”on p. 54). Rather, it means their learning is tied to specific needs and is job-embedded, consistent with the Standards for Professional Learning (Learning Forward, 2011).

As we explore varying ways of personalizing learning to students and educators with diverse needs, it is important to consider the role of race, class, and culture. As Sonia Caus Gleason(p. 10) and Sukey Leshnick, Jackie Statum Allen, and Daniela Berman (p. 36) point out, personalization may have different meanings and implications depending on one’s background. As we explore varying ways of personalizing learning to students and educators with diverse needs, it is important to consider the role of race, class, and culture. #LearnFwdTLP Click To Tweet

As always, our professional learning efforts should include thoughtful consideration of how the terms and approaches we use are interpreted by diverse families and school settings.

 NEW ONLINE CONTENT

With this issue, we are adding exclusive online content to our new The Learning Professional website: learningforward.org/the-learning-professional.

The new site has a more engaging look and feel, easier access to articles, and a more robust search function. You’ll find articles by Marion Wilson about a multitiered professionallearning approach that groups teachers according to their needs and by Laureen Avery about a microcredentialing effort for mainstream teachers of English learners.

On the subject of new content, we’ve posted our call for submissions for upcoming issues of The Learning Professional in 2020 on the website at learningforward.org/the-learningprofessional/write-for-us. Check out the topics and keep the great articles coming.


Suzanne Bouffard

Suzanne Bouffard (suzanne.bouffard@ learningforward.org) is editor of The Learning Professional.

References

Learning Forward. (2011). Standards for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH: Author


Download the PDF version


Search
The Learning Professional


Published Date

CURRENT ISSUE



Recent Issues

LEARNING BETTER BY LEARNING TOGETHER
June 2019

Collaboration is at the heart of effective professional..

ENGLISH LEARNERS
April 2019

Nearly five million students come to U.S. schools speak..

TRANSITIONS AND TURNING POINTS
February 2019

Transitions are a part of life in schools, sometimes pl..

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS
December 2018

All students deserve access to great instructional mate..