The Teacher and I

Personalized teaching benefits students learning

In the past 100 years, the world around us has continued to develop and change rapidly, adapting to new technology and the needs of each generation. But one thing has remained the same throughout — schooling.

Since the beginning of modern schooling, the way teachers have taught their students has continued unchanged.

A teacher stands in front of a class, made up of students coming from all different backgrounds, with different needs and different goals, but still teaches the information the same way to every student and expecting them to retain the information the same way as well.

According to a poll of 20 students, 20 percent were Auditory learners, 40 percent were Visual learners and 40 percent were Tactile learners. This shows that in just one class, the learning styles can be greatly differed. Just think about how the learning styles vary through a whole school.

Because of this, students are not learning to their full potential and may feel lost going into college. But there is a solution — personalized learning.

According to Dreambox Learning, personalized learning is “instruction that is paced to a student’s learning needs and tailored to student learning preferences and interests.” This means that students collaborate with their teacher to make goals for themselves about what they want to pursue in the future and how they can achieve these goals.

Student progress is measured not by periodic tests but by continuous assessments and completion of each student’s individual goals.

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-3-35-34-pmThis form of teaching allows students to take control of their learning and explore what they enjoy. This has been be shown to increase student engagement and interest, which fuels learning.

According to Business Insider, in Finland, where forms of personalized learning have been applied the most, 93 percent of students graduate high school — compared to 75% in the US — and  66% go to college. There are also the smallest gaps between the strongest and weakest students in the world.

So we should all take a page from Finland’s book and begin some much needed reform to the American education system.

Blue Valley should consider adding aspects of  personalized learning to their curriculum to make a great school even greater.