A Practical Approach to Personalized Learning
Personalizing learning can feel overwhelming even for the most effective teachers. In this webinar, we share how to flip the traditional approach to make it manageable and effective for every classroom.
We start the personalized learning process by using a structured, proven approach to developing self-awareness in students. When students are self-aware of what they need to succeed they can self-advocate and teachers can effectively support and enable each and every student in a manageable way.
The first step in self-awareness is for students to learn about their cognitive strengths and weaknesses. They can do this with a cognitive assessment called Mindprint which measures ten different cogntiive abilities, each of which plays a key role in learning. Mindprint, a scientifically valid, nationally normed cogntiive assessment, compares students’ cognitive development compared to their peer group on ten measures:
- Working memory
- Flexible thinking
- Verbal reasoning
- Abstract reasoning
- Spatial perception
- Verbal memory
- Visual memory
- Visual motor pseed
- Processing speed
Each of these skills plays a critical role in learning capacity and every student at some point feels like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
Learner variability is not just about academic performance or even behavior and social and emotional learning, but cognitive skills. Cognitive skills can be thought of as the “how” of learning. If students aren’t performing the way we would aniticipate academically or behaviorally, there are almost underlying cognitive reasons for it. The more we can understand that, the more we can help our learners.
Here are some examples of how different cognitive skills might be the root cause for learning difficulties.
|Academic Skill||Academic Subskills||Relevant Cognitive Skills|
|Reading Comprehension||Vocabulary, Inferencing||Verbal memory, Verbal reasoning, Flexible thinking|
|Geometry||Reasoning and Proofs, Shapes and Relationships||Spatial perception, abstract reasoning, visual memory|
|Social and Emotional||Impusle Control, Organization||Attention, flexible thinking, working memory|
When it comes to trying to support students who struggle with reading comprehension whether the issues are verbal memory, verbal reasoning, flexible thinking or some other skills such as working memory or visualization.
Math at different levels requires very different cognitive skills. In geometry and other areas of advanced math, spatial and asbstract reasoning and visual memory become much more important than in basic math skills. In fact, weaknesses in visual-spatial thinking may be at the core of why students drop out of engineering courses when they did well in math earlier.
In social and emotional learning, many educators look at a student’s ability to control their impuslivity and to stay organized. Underneath those observable behaviors are cogntiive skills such as attention (part of which is inhibitory control), flexible thinking and working memory. Helping a student with weak attention skills requires very different strategies that one who doesn’t.
There are thousands of evidence-based strategies that can help students. The question is which ones will be best for a specific student. In the webinar, we show how to use a database of free evidence-based strategies and tools to personalize learning for all types of learners.
Nancy Weinstein, Mindprint Learning
Nancy Weinstein is the co-founder and CEO of Mindprint Learning. For the past five years Mindprint has worked with schools, tutors, and educational consultants to help thousands of students better understand their learning strengths and needs so they can succeed in school and in life. Nancy has a BSE in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Nancy is the co-author of the book Universal Design for Learning, The Empowered Student: A Guide to Self-Regulated Learning.
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