Teaching in a Personalized Learning Environment

The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching

Our education system should put individual student needs at its foundation. At KnowledgeWorks, we have been shaping federal policies that enable personalized learning, we’ve learned from school districts that have been leading the movement towards student-centered instruction, and we’ve worked with district and state education policy leaders to identify which state policies are barriers or enablers for scaling personalized learning.

Including Teacher Voice in Education Policy

To gain a more thorough perspective of what it takes for education to make a shift to personalized learning, KnowledgeWorks partnered with the National Commission for Teaching & America’s Future (NCTAF) to consider the implications of personalized learning on teachers. We hoped to understand how personalized learning plays out in a classroom, and we wanted to know what it takes for teachers to shift practices that have been the norm for generations. After interviewing more than 75 teachers and administrators from across the country, KnowledgeWorks identified the driversthat are shaping the teaching profession as schools transition to personalized learning.

Personalized Learning According to Teachers

Our interviews with teachers about personalizing learning for students brought out four major themes that influence the successful implementation and scaling personalized learning, according to teachers:

  • Leaders provide clear expectations and parameters.
  • Teachers lead implementation.
  • Success depends on continuous improvement mindsets.
  • Schools adapt best practices to their own context.

Read our findings to learn more about the motivation behind implementing personalized learning, reflections from teachers actively involved in this shift in teaching and learning, how district conditions effect the teaching experience and interview excerpts.

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