Tagged “Personalized Learning”

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Letter to the Editor: The Secret Ingredient to Building Resilience in Children

Resilience and Learning - ASCD Educational LeadershipDear Editor,

The following is a response to the excellent articles in a recent issue of ASCD's Educational Leadership magazine. I am a Montessori school principal living and working in Sydney, Australia, over the past 17 years. I am a long-term ASCD member and have worked as a teacher in schools with primarily non-English speaking migrant families, as a counsellor and principal in an international school where kidnapping and terrorism directly affected a number of families, and headed a highly academic school where the majority of students continued studies outside of school every day of the week. My current position has brought me to a place of understanding of education I had never been able to reach before, despite the diverse environments in which I served earlier. While no school is free of difficulties, I write this response after finding the "secret ingredient" in building resilience in children.

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Klea Scharberg

Throughout December and January: Personalized Learning

How do we help each student succeed? One promising way is to personalize learning and put each student at the center of her learning experience. Broader than individualized or differentiated instruction, personalized learning is driven by the learner. Ensuring personalized learning for all students requires a shift in thinking about long-standing education practices, systems, and policies, as well as significant changes in the tools and resources. To address students’ abilities, interests, styles, and performance, schools need to rethink curricula, instruction, and technology tools to support giving learners choices and schools flexibility.

Join us as throughout December and January as we take a look at how personalized learning has the promise to ensure equity, engagement, ownership, and achievement for each child, in each school, and in each community so that she is college, career, and citizenship ready and is prepared for success in our global, knowledge-based society.

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Klea Scharberg

Insights on Getting Students to Mastery

Getting Students to Mastery - ASCD Educational LeadershipDecember 2013/January 2014 issue of Educational Leadership focuses on how educators can help students achieve mastery as they learn. But what does mastery mean? And how can teachers be sure students have achieved it? Authors in this issue consider these questions from a variety of angles, offering definitions of mastery and discussing how a focus on mastery might transform classroom practices.

In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer notes that the concept of mastery is difficult to grasp, but that the concept of mastery learning is relatively straightforward. It's the idea of setting clear objectives, providing students with opportunities for practice, checking for understanding, reteaching in different and new ways if needed, and, finally, giving students more than one chance to demonstrate the attainment of the goal. Mastery learning puts students first.

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Katherine Prince

A Resilient Learning Ecosystem or Fractured Learning Landscape?

At ASCD's Leader to Leader conference in July, I had the pleasure of sharing KnowledgeWorks' latest 10-year forecast on the future of learning, Recombinant Education: Regenerating the Learning Ecosystem (PDF), as a prelude to participants' exploring how they might improve the ways in which we support learning through the whole child. The very title of this forecast emphasizes the need for the entire education system to become more resilient, to regenerate itself by combining learning resources, experiences, and supports in many right ways in order meet the needs of all learners.

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Rich McKinney

How Can 20th Century Teachers Lead 21st Century Learners?

For years, school researchers have pointed to the digital divide between students from disparate socioeconomic groups as a major problem in public education. But now a different digital divide is receiving a closer look as research chronicles the widening gulf between the technology skills of teachers and the students who enter classrooms across the United States. While students often tend to be the earliest adopters of new technology, many teachers find that after lesson planning and grading there is little time left to become tech savvy. Unfortunately, many choose not to stay current, and they simply ignore or avoid technology as they continue to teach the same lessons in the same fashion. Therein lies the problem. Nearly 70 years ago, John Dewey claimed, "If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." Dewey's prescient understanding of our emerging divide begs the question, "How can 20th century teachers effectively teach and lead 21st century learners?" While others have suggested a long-term solution that classroom educators must become 21st century teachers, I propose that the first step is in becoming a 21st century learner.

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Leader to Leader

If the Ladder Is Leaning on the Wrong Structure

At the recent ASCD Leader to Leader (L2L) conference, attendees had a series of passionate unconference conversations. Several groups refined their thoughts into a series of presentations to share with other attendees in an "idea marketplace." During the idea marketplace, unconference groups presented for four rounds of 10-minute sessions, giving their peers the opportunity to learn from several groups in one session.

This post, written by Jason Ellingson, an ASCD Emerging Leader and past president of Iowa ASCD, shares his group's experience. Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #ASCDL2L.

If the ladder is leaning on the wrong structure, it doesn't really matter if you can climb it.

At ASCD's L2L conference, participants were presented with an education forecast by the KnowledgeWorks organization that demonstrated a significant shift in the workforce and our education system. Based on the presentation, a group of us decided to focus on what new system of education would be needed to fairly prepare our students for this new workforce and new society.

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Rich McKinney

Reboot and Recharge: The Power of Technology-Infused Instructors

Earlier this summer I created my first Vine. A month ago I would have thought that statement to be an indication that I had taken up gardening as a hobby, but I've since learned that Vine is a social media tool that allows users to create and share a personalized six-second video loop.

Each summer, when the school year comes to a close, I try to evaluate the past year, seeking to understand what worked effectively as well as recognize areas of needed improvement. During my 10 years in the classroom, I have avoided becoming stale by adding new advanced placement, and more recently International Baccalaureate, classes to my class load. As a result, my end-of-year reflections typically pointed out areas of the new content in which I needed to become more proficient. For two straight years, however, my schedule has not had any new courses, and as a result, content knowledge is not my main priority this year. Rather, I'm currently exploring ways to incorporate my district's goal of personalizing instruction for each and every student.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Why I Hate High School

ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

Post written by Jasmine Sanborn, a senior digital and visual journalism student at Loyola University Chicago. She hopes to follow her passions for conservation and comics and someday join the ranks at National Geographic or Marvel Comics.

Horrible. Backbreaking. Traumatizing. Stressful. Idiotic.

These are just a few words a panel of five blended-learning students used to describe how they felt about the classic high school experience. Moderator Mickey Revenaugh of Connections Education emphasized that this is not to say that every school is like this, but that the school system is definitely changing.

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Walter McKenzie


We're in the midst of an education paradigm shift. Are you on board? How do you know? More importantly, do you know what's driving it? Knowledge? Technology? The institution itself? We may have as many different definitions of the paradigm as we do of the shift.

I would argue the true paradigm shift is the move of focus from an individual to a communal orientation to society; a global view. This is a challenge in a culture where rugged individualism is a virtue. Our lore and legend are full of examples of strong individuals standing staunchly against adversity: Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Superman, Rambo. Then again, our historical heroes are also larger than life: Washington, Lincoln, Patton, MacArthur. They are revered for altering history against all odds. So how did this become our defining ideal, when the earliest settlers focused on the virtue of community? From colonizing in the new world to finding salvation in the afterworld, everything was achieved through communal life. How did we get from The Pilgrim's Progress to Walking Tall? It feels like a shift in paradigm and a paradox; a paradigm-a-dox.

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Celina Brennan and Ann Ottmar

Renewing Culture Through a New Mindset

An effective school culture is established by the work we do together on a daily basis, with values determined through a synergistic process. Our culture defines us and our ability to positively impact students and their learning. So how do we truly shift our school cultures toward positive changes that align with supporting the whole child? And how do we develop a collective mindset that leads to dynamic changes and, ultimately, sustains school improvement?

Here is a mantra worth considering: Students first, than standards, than curriculum.

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