Have you ever said “That’s not how it was when I was in school?”
Public education has certainly changed in many positive ways as the institution seeks to meet the needs of children to succeed in a changing society. From students sitting in rows listening to a “stand and deliver” teacher, to students working cooperatively in groups or pods, gradual changes have been made to ensure children acquire the knowledge and skills to prosper as adults. Exciting, gradual changes are once again afoot as Mountain View Elementary and KPBSD introduce Personalized Learning to ensure we not only meet our student’s individual academic needs but ensure they develop the 21st century skills necessary to positively shape their futures.
Personalized Learning (PL) is a multifaceted approach designed to tailor learning to individual student’s strengths, needs and interests. While more detailed information on PL can be found on the KPBSD homepage, the first steps we are taking here at Mountain View involve increasing student ownership of, and reflection on, their learning. Already in many of our classrooms students now have a choice of how they proceed through their daily, and in some cases weekly, independent work assignments. The students have to complete the various tasks but they have the choice of what sequence to do them in. In some instances, students are also able to choose from a variety of assignments. This ownership or choice, helps students become independent and self-directed workers. This not only enhances their education but develops a skill that most future employers will be looking for.
Another skill we hope to develop in our students is reflecting on the quality of their behavior and work. By teaching students to self–reflect using rubrics and specific examples we once again help them to be self-directed, this time focusing on quality, and develop the skills to help themselves excel both in and out of school.
It is our hope that the move towards Personalized Learning enables us to not only give our students the knowledge they need to succeed but the diverse skills as well.