By: Dr. Gregory W. Betts
Personalized learning individualizes in order to help students discover and broaden the ways they learn best. As educators, we want to ensure that students become independent and committed to their learning by encouraging student interest and ownership of learning. When teachers use instructional best practices like the 16 Elements of Explicit Instruction (Archer, Hughes 2011) and the Framework for Teaching (Danielson, 2013) to maximize student engagement and achievement, personalized learning can leverage learning opportunities for all students. Westside Community Schools has chosen five elements for Personalized Learning to empower teachers to provide optimal learning environments and student learning opportunities.
- Knowing Your Students
- Voice and Choice
- Integrating Digital Tools
Teacher decisions are crucial to maximizing student engagement and achievement but are many times still made in isolation. Collaboration and teaming are the new normal but teachers are still left to decide how to support students in their own learning. Collaboration and feedback are crucial in developing teachers’ instructional decision-making skills. These will help teachers feel more comfortable with using the continuum of high structure/narrow choice instruction to low structure/broad choice learning opportunities for students.
When grounded in instructional best practices, teachers have the foundational knowledge to differentiate instruction from teacher activated to teacher facilitated. To master the highest standards possible in a relational environment we need to be at a minimum proficient in instructional best practices.
The following blog posts will explore the five elements of personalized learning using collaboration and instructional best practices as the foundation to maximize student engagement and achievement. The posts are ready when the text has turned purple/blue with a link.
- Collaboration Systems to Maximize Student Engagement and Achievement
- A Deeper Look at the 16 Elements of Explicit Instruction
- Student and Learning Focused Instruction
- How the Framework for Teaching supports instructional best practice and Personalized Learning
- Personalized Learning Element – Knowing Your Students
- Personalized Learning Element – Voice and Choice
- Personalized Learning Element – Flexibility
- Personalized Learning Element – Data Informed
- Personalized Learning Element – Integrated Digital Tools
Archer, A. L., & Hughes, C. A. (2011). Explicit instruction: effective and efficient teaching. New York: Guilford Press.
Bailey J., personal communication, August 27, 2015
Betts, G., Kratky, McCann, B., B., Patterson, M., Spady, L., Weichel, M., Personalized Learning Collaboration, August 27, 2015
Danielson, C. (2013). The framework for teaching evaluation instrument. San Francisco, CA: Teachscape.