Josh Griffith, the principal of Collins-Maxwell MS/HS in Iowa, is passionate about personalized learning and creating a system that will support the needs of ever learner. Here is excerpt from his blog "Let Them Own the Learning".
"How do you learn best? What are your interests? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What motivates you? How fast of a learner are you?
Are your answers to these questions the same as everyone else you know? My point is, we are all very different. So, if we are all this different, why are we forcing students to learn the same way and at the same pace? I know that I learn best when I take ownership in my learning, by having choice in what, how, when, and how long it takes me to learn. Do you? I have been thinking a lot about what an education system would look like that personalized learning for every child – a system where students become learners who are actively seeking knowledge instead of receiving it. I would like to create a school where the learners are presented with every standard, benchmark, and/or competency they will have to demonstrate mastery of. After they are presented with these, learners are given the freedom to piece them together however they like and begin learning them in what ever order they like. They may choose to learn from a teacher in a traditional classroom setting, on-line, through a work-study in the community, or by doing some kind of project. There could be other ways that I haven’t thought of yet that students might come up with at a later time.
In order for a system like the one I envision to be successful, teachers will need to give up some control and become facilitators of learning, and students will need to take more ownership and become learners. We all learn best with the right motivations. Most of us are intrinsically motivated to do more and learn more when we have some choice in the process. Let’s release some control and let the students own their learning!"
Thank you Josh for your passion and your vision in personalizing learning for your learners!