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School of One Sounds Lonely, But It’s Not

December 19, 2012

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an interesting article about School of One, a program that “attempts to solve an age-old problem for teachers: What to do with students in the same class who learn at different speeds.” The answer lies in something called personalized learning. Imagine if every student in every class could learn at his or her own pace…and be certain of mastering a concept before moving to the next one.  Well, it’s happening right now in a handful of schools in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

I’ve been following the program since its first summer school pilot in 2009. It has come a long way. A new nonprofit, New Classrooms Innovation Partners, is expanding the approach to cities outside New York. New Classrooms is a Gates Foundation grantee.

School of One is still an emerging model, but a very intriguing concept that holds considerable promise and potential. This type of personalized learning used to only be available from private tutors, but now, with the help of technology, classroom teachers in public schools can use it to help provide instruction tailored to the learning needs of a heterogeneous group of students. Students can learn together and grow together–but have the benefit of a classroom designed to help educators Teach to One.

I’d encourage you to give the article a read. And, let me know what you think about it.

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