By Samantha Lewis
Teachers are adopting a new style of learning called personalized learning, it’s a way kids can learn at their own pace in their own way that they believe they benefit the most from.
Beckler is an English teacher at Batavia High School. He teaches honors English to Freshman during second block. When he’s not working with these students, he’s helping other teachers in the school. In his classroom, he practices personalized learning with his students.
“It allows for them to learn what’s best for them. If you learn best visually it allows for that. If you learn best from auditory means…” he says, “ it gives you opportunities to do that. It gives you space where you feel comfortable learning and also finding the way you feel comfortable learning … every teacher is trying to find a way to make it more personalized for the students, like giving the content over to them,” Becker said. “Having them learn their own way.”
There are multiple ways students learn best. For instance, some people have to listen to whatever they are learning to fully grasp it. This means that if they just simply read the information, they won’t benefit it. They can then conclude that for their personalized learning, they are an auditory learner.
“It’s only been about a year or a year and half that we have been throwing around the term personalized learning,” Beckler said. “It’s always existed where students are getting chances to try things out and give them that opportunity.”
The environment plays a huge role in personalized learning. In Beckler’s class, the room was completely redone over the summer. Now there are multiple couches where students can sit and read and round whiteboard tables where group discussions can be held. According to teachers, this helps make personalized learning more personal and beneficial for the students.
“It’s really fun to create a space where students can learn and want to learn,” Beckler said. “In this environment, people can be going at skills different ways that benefit them the most.”
One thing about personalized learning is that it’s flexible. Students get to choose what they work on that day and what they will need to work on the next. In Beckler’s class students have the choices of either working on grammar, researching their dystopian project, reading Fahrenheit 451, or discussing with their small group.
“It’s a constantly ongoing process where you can be thinking about why you’re learning, how you’re learning,” Beckler said. “It’s more about the student and the teacher can give them the opportunity to figure out who they are.”