5 Strategies for Personalized Learning
November 13, 2019
Effectively implementing student-centered learning can be daunting without support. Our hope is that this resource can provide a stepping stone. In addition to the basic how-to, local educator CJ Ellsworth outlines the potential miscues and areas of struggle that teachers and students may face—and what can be done to mitigate them, focusing on five specific strategies:
1. The problem-based approach starts with a problem framed by the teacher to align with specific standards. Students have the autonomy to pursue a problem in any way that they find beneficial. They are allowed to struggle, which will help to increase their cognitive processing skills.
2. The point-based approach is one of my personal favorites; it allows students not only personalize to their class period for a single day but to plan their entire week. Students are presented with a menu of options that includes specific assignments, projects, or deliverables that they can mix and match as they choose.
3. The students-as-teachers approach elevates students’ role by asking them to teach a lesson, pushing them to dig deeper into content, often looking at the theory behind it in order to explain concepts, answer key questions, and address misconceptions.
4. The project-based approach allows students to be creative and work through the entire scope of creating and implementing a project. For example, a student passionate about theater could write a one-act play related to key learning goals, making the work more interesting and aligned to students’ passions.
5. The standards-based approach is popular and a great place to start with self-directed learning: here, students work at their own pace while demonstrating mastery of the standards, allowing quick acceleration in some cases, and more support where it’s needed.