New Data on the State of Personalized Learning

A new report takes a look at the current state of personalized learning. It makes the case that personalized learning can drive academic gains and social-emotional growth. The key is implementation of a teaching and learning construct that helps drive rigorous instruction in personalized learning. We have driven this approach in our partner schools in Chicago, which has led to stronger implementation and more consistent, positive results.

At LEAP Innovations, we’re tapping the collective insights of educators to refine a personalized learning model that’s being used in over 120 schools in Chicago. Personalized learning isn’t about flexible seating or flipped lessons or technology. It’s about creating environments in which learning is focused on, demonstrated by, and led with the learner. It’s about creating experiences that connect learning to students’ communities and cultures

Our partnerships with schools have given us a front row seat to the potential of personalized learning to reinvigorate teachers and engage students. It also gives us perspective on some of the implementation challenges this report describes. The shift towards personalized learning can be daunting without support — and it takes time to implement it fully.

The challenges presented by implementation variables, many of which are outlined in today’s report, are why we have designed an approach focused on supporting educators as they develop, test, and scale new practices. Further, we have developed, and made available for free public use, the only validated survey tool for educators – the LEAP Survey for Personalized Learning – to evaluate their progress implementing personalized learning.

In our pilot cohorts, districts who implemented the rigorous and wholesale changes embodied in the LEAP Learning Framework saw positive improvements in student outcomes by going beyond implementations that simply mirror the physical and technological components often visible in personalized learning approaches (flexible seating, adaptive tech).

The state of personalized learning is evolving. These new findings reinforce LEAP’s commitment to providing educators with the personalized supports they need to evolve and scale their practice over time. I’m encouraged that research is giving voice to educators, and highlighting the challenges and potential for personalized learning to create pathways to opportunity for all students.