School Administrator Must Reads for Personalized Learning Communities

Fewer than 40 percent of graduating students scored at college- and career-ready levels in recent years. – National Assessment of Educational Progress

Successfully implementing personalized learning has never been more important. Jobs are becoming more highly skilled, and students must be prepared to think critically. To ready kids for what is to come, teachers more and more must become facilitators of learning – rather than instructors who simply give information.

 The most effective instructors in personalized learning programs have a true understanding that all students can, and will, learn given what they need. These teachers have high expectations of their students and don’t settle. They are comfortable taking on the role of “instructional facilitator” rather than a lecturer.

Unfortunately, by no fault of their own, many teachers’ experience in the classroom and education are not in line with that type of facilitation. The need for professional development in this area is huge. Making the leap to personalized instruction will take time and commitment. This type of teaching and learning is hugely different from more traditional teaching methods.

Personalized learning is designed to meet the educational needs of all types of learners. The main goal is the optimization of learning for each and every student. Flexibility in the amount of time students are allowed to master concepts is a key difference. This is because the emphasis is on mastery of skills rather than how long kids sit in the classroom. Therefore, changes must be made both throughout the district as well as the school.

In short, the changes that must be made are wide-ranging and vast. But, they are doable and have been done many times before. If you are interested in implementing this kind of learning in your school community,  here are three amazing must-reads for principals looking to create a personalized learning community:

This e-book entitled “The Ultimate Personalized Learning Guide” is a resource full of the “nuts and bolts” of the personalized learning and how to implement this type of learning in your school community.

Schools that Learn by Peter Senge is all about changing the way we educate America’s kids.  It is “…a rich, much-needed remedy for the standardized, assembly-line, industrial-age institutions that comprise too much of our school system today. Chock full of useful tools, ideas, and exercises, this book is ideal for the many teachers and parents who are intent on resurrecting and fostering students’ innate drive to learn. An essential resource.” (Daniel H. Pink, author of DRIVE and A WHOLE NEW MIND)

Designing Personalized Learning for Every Student by Dianne Ferguson, Cleo Droege, Hafdís Guðjónsdóttir, Jackie Lester, Gwen Meyer, Ginevra Ralph, Nadia Sampson, and Janet Williams challenges schools to reimagine schools as more flexible communities. It offers tips for creating a school environment that is responsive to the broadest range of student diversity.

Do you have a book recommendation for personalized learning? We would love to hear about it. Leave us a review in the comments!

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