What does it mean for students to be truly educated in a rapidly changing, technology-driven, and globally interconnected 21st century world? How can we ensure that every student receives a challenging, rigorous, engaging, and personalized learning experience throughout their elementary, middle, and high school years? This book explores the meaning of and a possible future direction for education in the 21st century—an education that transcends the archaic factory model of teaching and learning to which most students in public schools are still exposed.
Personalizing 21st Century Education begins with a manifesto for change, emphasizing the significance of true personalization for every learner. Next, it describes classroom, school, and system-level performance indicators that suggest that personalization is alive and well. The authors examine the historical origins of most modern school cultures—i.e., a commitment to standardization, depersonalization, and test-driven metrics that ignore the complexity and totality of the whole child. Throughout the are success stories showcasing schools and districts that are currently “beating the odds” and providing a truly personalized learning environment for their students. The authors outline key components of a personalized learning system, including:
- state-of-the-art curriculum
- balanced and authentic assessment
- integrated and student-focused technology
- rigorous and engaging instruction
- personalized approaches to learning
- addressing the needs of diverse student populations, including English Language Learners, special needs students, socio-economically disadvantaged, and transient/highly mobile learners
- effective and sustained social and psychological services
- active parent and community involvement
- creative and productive cross-institutional partnerships
For leaders, teachers, and other stakeholders, Personalizing 21st Century Educationpresents a vision for an individualized educational system that transcends current factory models and prepares students to be competitive in tomorrow’s global economy.
DAN DOMENECH, PHD, is Executive Director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association.
MORTON SHERMAN, EDD, is Associate Executive Director of AASA.
JOHN L. BROWN, PHD, is Executive Director of Curriculum Design and Instructional Services for the Alexandria, Virginia, Public Schools.