Personalized learning's impact should exceed academic success
- The impact of personalized learning, and of education as a whole, is to prepare students for success in ways that extend beyond academic performance, EdSurge reports.
- In order to assess the impact of an educational program, schools need to look for ways to measure success in ways that will reflect the development of the student as a whole person, not just as an academic being.
- In order to do this, schools need to be able to define what it means to “be a good person,” design a program to cultivate these characteristics, and determine a way to measure growth in these areas.
Most educators agree that the goal of education is to prepare students to succeed in life. But the definition of success remains somewhat elusive. Some feel that success is determined by how well a student is prepared to find employment in the marketplace of the future. For others, success is measured by college admission or scholarships. However, schools are not designed to merely teach lessons, but to teach whole human beings.
The development of a responsible citizen who has a positive impact on the world is a lofty goal and one that is not easily measured. Some advocates of approaches such as personalized learning or social-emotional learning or character education feel these strategies offer the best route to accomplishing this goal. New tools such as the Character Lab offer ways to help measure the attainment of these goals. Other data points, such as school attendance and discipline records can offer some insight into these measures as well.
However, it may be that intangible qualities such as grit and determination are the best predictors for student success. While academics are very important, teaching students to seek knowledge, to pursue a goal, to persist through failure, and to make the world a better place for others may be the best path to ultimate success.