Educators and policymakers at the American Federation of Children‘s annual summit in Indianapolis this week were all speaking in unison about a shift in the classroom that they believe will improve student achievement: personalizing learning to meet the needs of individual students, allowing them to learn at their own pace.
A week earlier, at a separate event, the New Schools Venture Fund Summit sounded a similar theme.
Personalized learning has been a talking point in education policy circles for years. Some skeptics argue that what some people call “personalization,” is really just a new-fangled buzzword for plain good teaching that takes students’ individual needs and abilities into account.
Still, the buzz coming out of education conferences shows how personalized learning has become a focal point for philanthropists and practitioners. During a time of growing ideological division, it is one of the few concepts that still unites disparate wings of the education reform movement.
At the ACF summit, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said customizing learning and considering the “uniqueness” of each student is a critical step in the future of education.
“Students learn in different ways,” he said.
Bush said only one-third of the country’s children are college or career ready — a statistic he said illustrates the urgency of improving education for every child. Continue Reading →