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Personalized Learning
Student-Designed Pathways to High School Graduation



April 2013 | 240 pages | Corwin

Your guide to making a whole-school move toward personalized learning

Give students the freedom to map their own educational pathways and help them meet graduation standards! This book illustrates how to support students to take advantage of resources from the community, colleges, virtual platforms, and creative outlets to design their own education. Readers will:

  • Hear from educators who have successfully steered schools toward personalized learning
  • Get specific tips to help your entire staff implement key processes and measure outcomes
  • Find answers to the big questions that threaten success
  • Use models of prompts and rubrics to get your pilot program started

Personalized Learning gives you solid, flexible tools to enhance your school’s depth and generate successful outcomes.

“With a sharp eye for detail, Clarke reminds us that students can and must make their own sense of the world, but to do so, they need smart and flexible frameworks, the company of attentive adults, and lots of back and forth about the important big ideas.”
—Larry Myatt, Founder and President
The Education Resources Consortium


 
Foreword by Joseph DiMartino
 
Preface
Why This Book?

 
Who Might Read This Book?

 
What's in the Book?

 
 
About the Author
 
Acknowledgments
 
Introduction: All Learning Is Personal
Meeting Standards/Avoiding Standardization

 
Celebrating Diversity

 
Personalized Learning

 
Designing Personal Pathways to Graduation

 
An Enriched Context for Learning

 
 
1. Engagement in Learning
Overview

 
Organizing Curriculum Around Personal Competencies

 
Real Questions/Real Meaning

 
Building on Strengths

 
Artificial Challenges

 
Meaningful Challenges

 
Designing Pathways by Increasing Challenge

 
Personalization and Student Achievement

 
Accepting Ambiguity

 
Nagging Questions About Personal Engagement

 
 
2. Patterns of Growth
Overview

 
Personalized Learning at Mount Abraham

 
Patterns of Growth in Personalized Learning

 
Learning Through Relationships

 
Nagging Questions About Student Growth

 
 
3. Shaping the Process of Inquiry
Overview

 
Keeping the Target Steady

 
Seven Phases of Project Development in a Semester

 
The Process Is the Learning

 
Nagging Questions About Structure and Freedom

 
 
4. Scaffolding Personal Learning
Overview

 
Focusing on Competency

 
"The Space": A Website Organizing Learning

 
Designing Processes and Products

 
Learning to Learn Independently

 
Learning Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: An Illustration

 
Problem Solving With Hands

 
Using the Tools in Advising

 
Leaving the Scaffold Behind

 
Nagging Questions About Structure

 
 
5. Integrating School and Community
Overview

 
Why Leave Campus?

 
Riding With the Wizard

 
Connecting With a Community Mentor

 
Fitting in at Fifteen: Austin and Gabe at the Fish Hatchery

 
Making Room for Mentoring

 
Moving From Simple to Complex Tasks

 
The Cost in Time and Energy

 
Making Global Connections

 
The Action Is Not the Learning

 
Nagging Questions About Community Engagement

 
 
6. Assessing Readiness for College and Work
Overview

 
What Tests Don't Tell

 
Documenting Applicable Competency

 
Measuring What Matters

 
Face Validity

 
Focusing Questions for Assessing Evidence of Learning

 
Tracking the Accumulation of Evidence

 
Student-Led Conferences

 
Exhibitions: Taking It Public

 
Celebrating "Best-Work" Portfolios

 
Reporting Achievement

 
Nagging Questions About Assessment

 
 
7. Transforming High School Learning
Overview

 
School Transformation Through Mutual Learning

 
Growth Through Interaction

 
Removing Barriers: Armando Vilaseca, Vermont Secretary of Education

 
Shaping a Shared Vision: Evelyn Howard, District Superintendent of the Addison Northeast K-12 School District

 
Linking Personalization to Existing Models: Nancy Cornell, Associate Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

 
Continuous Adaptation Through Engaged Leadership

 
Organizing Teams and Structures: Leon Wheeler, Mount Abraham Coprincipal

 
Unifying Personalized Learning: Caroline Camara and Maureen Deppman, Cochairs of Personalized Learning Department

 
Expanding Roles for Teachers: Caroline Camara, Department Cochair

 
Advising While Redesigning: Russell Comstock, Academic Advisor

 
Mutual Renewal

 
Nagging Questions About High School Transformation

 
 
Conclusion: From Knowledge to Power
Sort and Select or Empower to Grow?

 
 
Bibliography
 
Index

"I continue to appreciate John Clarke’s dedication to putting students and common sense before educational politics, fads and test scores. With a sharp eye for detail, John reminds us that students can and must make their own sense of the world, but to do so, they need smart and flexible frameworks, the company of attentive adults, and lots of back and forth about the important big ideas. In a time when data dashboards and growth indexes clutter the landscape and steer us away from personalized learning, Clarke’s voice provides tones of Dewey in a contemporary motif."

Larry Myatt, Founder and President
The Education Resources Consortium
Key features
Personal stories (from the author): I have interviewed more than thirty students, administrators and advisors, converted their interviews into transcriptions and edited the transcriptions into illustrative narratives. These stories then anchor each chapter of the book, with examples of scaffolding "props" for personalized learning developed at Pathways. I have also incorporated illustrations from other Vermont high schools developing Pathways opportunities.

The book will include strategies for moving a school to personalization, examples of the guides, writing prompts, rubrics, and reflections (many in graphic form) that will provide guidance for people working up a pilot program.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Clarke Sample Material


Preview this book

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781452258546
$38.95

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.