Special Report

Self-Directed, Personalized Learning Under COVID-19: What Works, What Doesn't

November 4, 2020
Saras Chung, center, her daughter, Karis Chung, 14, and son, Jaron Chung, 12, walk into her office in St. Louis on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Both Karis and Jaron are attending school remotely.
Even under normal circumstances, personalized learning is hard to do. It requires a careful mixing of academic rigor and student interests, and regular, ongoing training for teachers and principals.

But the current environment in schools is anything but normal. The mix of instructional models is dizzying—full-time remote, hybrid, in-person but socially distanced.

That is probably why more than half of educators in an EdWeek Research Center survey said they are not doing as well with personalizing instruction as they were before the pandemic.

This report examines why personalized learning is difficult to do now and what strategies, tactics, and adjustments teachers, principals, and district leaders are putting in place to try to make it work.
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.