Special Report: Personalized Learning: Vision vs. Reality

Figuring Out What It Should, or Should Not, Look Like

Turning the far-reaching vision of personalized learning—essentially customizing education to each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and personal interests—from something crafted by state or district policymakers into actual improvements at the classroom level will take a lot of hard work.

To begin with, the concept is still largely ill-defined. Plus, critics point out that personalized learning is not yet backed up by research and leans too heavily on technology to achieve its goals. Yet over the past five years, at least 15 states have taken legislative or regulatory steps to fuel personalized learning.

A classic battle is emerging between an optimistic vision for innovation on one side, and skepticism about whether the changes will improve schools on the other.

Special Report: Personalized Learning: Vision vs. Reality


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Assistant Managing Editor Kevin Bushweller visited the largest high school in Vermont to see how one of the most ambitious personalized learning laws in the country is changing teaching and learning.
November 8, 2017 – Education Week

Critics say personalized learning isn't supported by evidence, leads to bad teaching, and depends on data-mining students. What do educators and policymakers need to know?
November 8, 2017 – Education Week

The evidence for personalized learning is still "very weak," say leading researchers studying the movement. But there are reasons to be encouraged - and patient.
November 8, 2017 – Education Week

At least 15 states since 2012 have taken legislative action—such as waiving regulations and setting up innovation zones—to encourage personalized learning.
November 8, 2017 – Education Week

Schools in Vermont are making adjustments in curricula, teaching approaches, and school schedules to meet the expectations of a relatively new personalized learning law.
November 8, 2017 – Education Week

These mini-case studies examine three common struggles for personalized-learning schools: training teachers, differentiating instruction, and letting students work at their own pace.
November 8, 2017 – Education Week

How personalized learning is playing out for students should be evaluated carefully, educators say, because students are the ones with the most riding on these new approaches.
November 8, 2017 – Education Week

We asked educators, experts, and critics two simple questions. One finding became clear: "personalized learning" still means many different things to many different people.
November 8, 2017 – Education Week

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