Photo courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action
Through a statewide personalized learning initiative, Rhode Island has made strides at developing student-centered approaches to learning. A new Teach Plus policy brief examines the necessary steps for implementing the vision of a personalized education experience for all Rhode Island students.
“Rhode Island has been heralded as the state that is leading the nation in creating a more student-centered, personalized education experience for its students,” said Paul Toner, Teach Plus Rhode Island executive director. “Many educators are excited and supportive of these efforts, but to be successful, they need support and our teacher preparation and traditional notions of school need a significant redesign.”
As part of an effort to expand personalized learning throughout the state, Teach Plus Rhode Island brought together the Teaching Policy Fellows—24 teachers from traditional district and charter schools from across the state—to understand more about personalized learning strategies and develop recommendations on how key constituent groups can support personalized learning.
In their new report, the Policy Fellows outline five actionable recommendations for improving personalized learning in the state.
- Support greater engagement of students, parents, and the broader community in creating understanding and demand for personalized learning environments;
- Rethink and revise teacher preparation and professional learning for educators to support student-centered teaching and provide incentives and supports to encourage this shift;
- Move towards a fully Competency-Based Education (CBE) system with Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) and provide implementation grants to schools and districts interested in implementing this;
- Redesign the physical, programmatic, and pedagogical structures of our schools to support teachers in implementing personalized student learning and prioritize schools and districts interested in doing so when awarding funds;
- Conduct ongoing action research with the Rhode Island Department of Education, districts, teachers, and area colleges to identify key learnings and measure student outcomes as implementation continues.
For members interested in improving personalized learning in their states, these recommendations and the related research are a useful reference point. If you’d like to connect with Teach Plus, reach out.