While the San Diego County schools exploring personalized learning all have their own idea of what it means, there are common threads that run through all the models.
There’s a movement in classrooms toward personalized learningthroughout the county and country.
It looks different at every charter school, traditional school and private school that has adopted it.
But they all have one thing in common: They’re rejecting the long-established idea that kids should progress and hit the same standards at the same time, in the same way.
“We’re now trying to give what only a tutor could historically give to one student,” said Michael Horn, a co-founder of Clayton Christensen Institute, a think tank with a focus on education. While there has been a lot of talk of promise around personalized learning, it’s still in the early stages as a movement. Studies looking at personalized learning, like ones from the RAND Corporation and Silicon Schools, have found some evidence of achievement growth, but caution that the shift happening in many schools is too recent to have conclusive data.
Horn also notes that personalized learning isn’t inherently good or bad.
“It’s how we do it,” he said. “I think there are going to be great example of personalizing and some that we shudder at.”