Special Report

Personalized Learning

What Educators Really Think and Do
November 6, 2019
Special Report v39 12 PersonalLearning cover
Personalized learning is hard work. And when poorly planned and executed, it does not work well at all. But that should not stop schools from pursuing the goal of tailoring instruction to individual students’ academic strengths and weaknesses as well as their personal interests. That appears to be the big takeaway from our nationally representative survey of nearly 600 teachers on personalized learning topics, featured extensively in this report.
What complicates matters is the fact that schools often make big mistakes before and while embarking on personalized learning efforts, including failing to define what it means and why they are doing it, assuming it’s all about simply putting digital devices in students’ hands, and failing to recognize that effective personalized learning strategies demand major shifts in teacher practice.
The ultimate goal of personalized learning supporters is to identify what works and expand those approaches to more schools. But that remains a daunting challenge.
Coverage of whole-child approaches to learning is supported in part by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, at www.chanzuckerberg.com. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.