Wallingford Public Schools

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Personalized Learning

Personalized learning environments are designed by learners and facilitated by teachers to meet different learning needs and goals.

Personalized learning is…

“Paced to learning needs, tailored to learning preferences, and tailored to the specific interests of different learners…. (it) encompasses differentiation and individualization.” (Rethinking Learning, Barbara Bray, Creative Learning Strategist)

“Empowering students to pursue their (individual interests and) passions while encouraging them to take more responsibility for their education.” (Leadership in Action – New England Secondary School Consortium 2012)

Empowering students to pull learning in rather than educators pushing it in (Don Cornwall, 21st Century Innovation Project Review Board member)

Student-centered learning bases the foundation of the educational program on the interests of the child, theneeds of the learner and an understanding of how children learn. (NextEd Report from Connecticut Association for Public School Superintendents)

Why personalized learning?

Personalized learning takes differentiation of instruction a step further. Personalized learning utilizes information gained through teacher assessment of mastery of standards to focus instruction for individual students.

Personalized learning provides the following:

- flexible pathways for students to demonstrate mastery of the district defined standards

- opportunities for students to begin to engage in career and post secondary planning

- opportunities to increase student voice and choice through authentic learning

Key Understandings

- flexible pathways to mastery

- engagement

- authentic learning

How is this different from what we are already doing?

Many teachers are offering varied instructional opportunities in their classes. Project-based learning and the use of technology have increased significantly in our district to assist in engaging students in a personal manner.

The next steps in personalizing learning are:

- connecting the personalized experiences to the standards

- providing staff with resources and time to develop instruction that provides flexible pathways for students to demonstrate mastery

- expanding opportunities for students to explore career and post secondary planning