Want to personalize learning for students?

By Amy Geurkink-Coats
August 2019
Vol. 40 No. 4
Personalized learning for students is gaining steam across the country and pushing on traditional instructional practices. But many teachers have never experienced personalized learning themselves, making it challenging to implement it for students (Sawchuck, 2015). How do we develop professional learning for educators to support the success of these new efforts and ensure learning for all? As personalization experts Tom Vander Ark and Karen Cator (2015) said, “If we want more students to experience powerful learning, we need to create development pathways that allow school and district leaders to benefit from the same blended, competency-based, and deeper learning experiences that they seek to create for students.” Parkway School District in west St. Louis County, Missouri, sought to develop a professional learning process that follows this

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Amy Geurkink-Coats

Amy Geurkink-Coats ( is talent development coordinator for Parkway School District in Missouri.

Personalized Professional Learning handbook

View or download the Parkway Schools professional learning handbook at


Sawchuk, S. (2015, September 3). Teacher evaluation: An issue overview. Education Week. Available at

TNTP. (2015). The mirage: Confronting the hard truth about our quest for teacher development. New York, NY: Author.

Vander Ark, T. & Cator, K. (2015). Preparing leaders for deeper learning [Web log post]. Available at

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