Excerpt from The Hechinger Report article by Liz Willen:
The new approaches [to learning] come with some new buzzwords – such as student agency, technology-enabled learning and social and emotional learning, for example – but also with a lot of willingness to acknowledge a lack of answers.
“These are folks trying to do something different, for academic progress and social and emotional progress, and measuring things like that are hard,” said Betheny Gross, who is leading a study of personalized learning at the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) in Seattle. “Does it work? We’ve got very little to go on.”
Gross acknowledged that researchers are struggling, even as hundreds of school districts are recognizing that students “should be self-aware, know their own strengths, interests and pursue their personal and academic goals and learning passions,” (according to a definition from the Henry County Schools in Virginia passed out during the summit).
She also made it a point to note how enthusiastic many teachers seem to be about personalized learning.
“I see teachers who say to me, ‘This is why I got into teaching, not to make sure kids pass the state test,’ ” Gross said. “So there is a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and a sincere hope to get this right. At the same time, I see teachers who are struggling.”