Saturday, November 3, 2012

Personalized learning: starting with the students

At my old school there was a focus on outcomes.  I had been uneasy with this for some time without really being able to put my finger on exactly what didn't sit right with me.  Now that I'm in a school where the focus is on personalized learning, and now that I'm working with teachers who are actively encouraging students to follow their own curiosities, I can see how this approach is so much more relevant to the needs of our students.  We start with our students and their passions - we don't start with the outcomes.

As I'm facilitating an online course for the IBO at the moment, I have been thinking about action as one of the essential elements of the PYP.  In Making the PYP Happen it states:
An explicit expectation of the PYP is that successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the student as a result of the learning process. 
In the movie below Connie Yowell, Director of Education at the MacArthur Foundation, is asking (and answering) some of the questions that I had last year.  She is dealing with the experiences that we want students to have.  She addresses the purpose of education and shows how, when we connect with students and engage them in significant learning, that they will be provoked to meaningful and responsible action.

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