The idea of implementing personalized mastery learning (PML) is attractive and overwhelming all at the same time. Most educators want to foster authentic student engagement by giving students voice in their learning but sometimes it seems like the schools we work in or the way we have been trained collide with the tenants of PML.
How do educators make this tremendous shift in their classrooms while still meeting standards? How do we as educators stay on pace with content and still give students voice and choice? How do we as educators apply student learning preferences to our curriculum in a sustainable way?
Personalized learning consultant, Allison Zmuda, has written several blog posts on the “Yes, but” questions educators have about implementing personalized learning in traditional classrooms.
Aveson’s advice to visiting educators? Apply PML in small increments.
Here students are given three choices in their path to showing mastery in Spanish grammar throughout the year. The three choices are driven by their knowledge level, how they learn best and their preference in how to show mastery.
Choice #1: Does the student believe he already has a mastery understanding of Spanish grammar? He takes the test, scores an 80 percent or higher, reflects on his learning, and he’s on his way to the next outcome.
Choice #2: Does the student believe she has a basic knowledge of Spanish grammar but may need a few more mini-lessons to be comfortable taking the test? Then she can design her own path to mastery. She can tap into class resources, create self-guided lessons and then take the test.
Choice #3: Do choices one and two not fit the student? Choice three allows him to participate in mini-lessons and small group interactive note-taking sessions then demonstrate mastery by creating a graphic organizer that visually shows his understanding of the outcome.
For students, the key to this personalized mastery learning example is that students are allowed to work at their own pace and have voice in how they learn and how they show mastery of Spanish grammar. For educators, this is an easy, sustainable way to apply PML with very little additional time or work.