In Waukesha, Wisconsin, many schools have begun using a personalized learning approach that gives students voice and choice in much of their learning. With ubiquitous access to technology, personalized learning will undoubtedly be the wave of the future in terms of how we educate students. Traditional lessons with teachers lecturing full classrooms of students all at once will be rare as students begin learning at their own pace, while engaging in authentic experiences that won’t just mimic the real-world; they will be for the real world.
I had an opportunity to speak with some middle school students at FLIGHT Academy, which is a school-within-a-school model at Horning Middle School in Waukesha. Take a few minutes to watch this video and listen to the way that students and teachers talk about learning.
While students at FLIGHT Academy are still working on academic skills, they are also practicing life skills such as time management, self-direction, communication, collaboration, problem-solving and perseverance. In traditional classrooms, teachers work so hard to support students that they often protect students from experiencing failure. In personalized learning environments, because students truly are responsible for their own learning, the philosophy is for students to fail forward in order to learn and grown from mistakes.
In DPS 109, we will continue studying ways to bring personalized learning into our classrooms to give students more voice and choice in their daily learning. Some of our teachers who also attended the site visit have already begun this journey, and we hope to highlight their great work in the coming months.