Personalized Learning

Recently, Dean Shareski commented on my last post:

I’m just over halfway through the book. It’s amazing how tightly many of the concepts align with discussions and initiatives I’m currently involved with. In many ways, he articulates some key ideas that have been roaming around my brain for a while.

Dean is right on.  In Disrupting Class, Christensen, Horne and Johnson clarify the vocabulary of change.   They predict that education will move to online and be personalized for the learner.  To get to this ideal of a personalized education they say that there must be disruptive change in our education system.  Disruptive change happens outside traditional institutions.  It will begin in non-competitive sectors of education like home schooling, charter schools, and online schools.

What is critical about this personalized learning is the ability to assess student strengths and learning styles.  We can see this happening in schools now with the differentiated instruction movement. But to realize true personalized education, we need tutors or technology.

I feel that I have a better vision of where education is going.  I have a model of institutional change that works.  There are powerful ideas in Disrupting Class. 

So where is this happening?  Who is doing this? 

SLA, with Principal Chris Lehmann is a huge step in the right direction.   The MET seems to be doing the right thing.  And there’s High Tech High.   All of these are outside the traditional education mold. 

So where do you see these schools?  Who are their leaders? 

I’m reading the book Tribes right now, and they say that it’s you (or me) who have to lead.  Hmmm. 


Image 1 from:

Image 2 from:

3 thoughts on “Personalized Learning

  1. I had just drafted a nice long comment, but something happened with my wireless connection and it cut out.

    Long and short of it, I work for a CA independent study charter school and we are the fringe element you mention. We are doing this at all levels of K-12 and you’re right-learning style ID and modification of curriculum is paramount.

    I believe that traditional schools are on their way out. My mother-in-law who works for a large district in Orange County, CA doesn’t believe me. The handwriting is on the wall. I expect that by the time my son hits high school in 14 years, the existing system will be largely dismantled simply due to outside factors.

    We live in revolutionary times, but I think many fail to recognize this.

  2. Alex, SLA is doing it right. Chris Lehmann says, as you know, that it is because everyone from Chris to each teacher he hires is on board philosophically, emotionally, and pedagogically. He agrees you can’t simply take his school and do it elsewhere; it’s the human factor. (I just finished Tribes and wrote a post about it, too. Seth’s ideas ring so true. Do it, he says, do it.)

  3. Alex, I’m also excited about this discussion of individualized learning! I wonder though… what specific technologies will we need to realize the predictions of “Disrupting Class”? Maybe we’ll see in 10 years as the authors suggest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s