A couple of weeks ago we began to examine the change strategy the Institute is using to help frame our work of personalizing learning for all students. The first area we discussed was change to learning and teaching, which we feel must be at the nexus of any significant change to education. This week we will explore the next area of change: relationships and roles.
Relationships and Roles
Educators who make a commitment to engage in modules of personalization within their classrooms is a great start, but in order to build capacity and take it to scale, change must be made to the relationships and roles of both educators and students. Specialized roles for educators that tap into individual strengths and interests will be identified and developed. These may include coaches, content experts and assessment specialists, as well as others. Educators will no longer be isolated within their classrooms, but instead will work collaboratively with each other and with students. Moving to these new roles will require “re-tooling” and support for educators. This support must be personalized, just-in-time, and when and where they need it.
Student roles will change as well. Incorporating student voice is a key component to the success of personalized learning. Students must be allowed to have a say in determining how they learn best and the path they will take to get there. This level of involvement will occur along a continuum, from more instructor-driven in the early years to a more student-driven approach in the later years. This enables students to develop the skills to become life-long independent learners, skills they will need in our increasingly complex world.
Over the next year we will engage with districts in the CESA #1 region that are ready and willing to take some of the innovative modules that affect learning and teaching and begin to pull them together into part of an innovative model that will affect relationships and roles. We will also engage with students to incorporate their voice into our transformational work. These changes will inevitably put additional pressure on our next area of change: structure and policy.