These classrooms don’t look like the usual traditional classrooms, as they are designed to foster personal attention in small groups.
Students sit on the floor, in comfortable bean bag chairs. Some sit in desks working on laptops. Some teachers work one on one, some work in small groups.
This is what a middle school’s new personalized learning initiative looks like. According to Mayville Middle School principal John Schlender, the district began investigating personalized learning three years ago with research and visits to other sites.
“We have known for a long time that our current education model is not ideal and it is based on years and years of efficiency. There has to be a better way to teach kids,” he said.
Here is how Schlender defines personalized learning. He said “There are lots of different definitions. We have struggled with what it means to us. What is comes down to is allowing students to learn what they want to know when they need to know it and giving students a voice and choice with their learning.”