“What Do You Mean by ‘Personalized Learning?’

If you work in the field of education, you’re probably familiar with the term “personalized learning.” It’s all the buzz right now. Schools across the United States are talking about personalization and putting various forms of personalized learning into practice to meet their students’ diverse needs. Although educators across the country are using the terms “personalization” and “personalized learning,” there is little consensus about what these words mean or what types of practices they describe. This brief post will consider just a few conceptions of personalized learning that have been put forth in the literature on this approach to education.   Continue reading

Propensity Score Methods: Working with Natural Experiments

In the natural sciences, experimentation is understood to be at the foundation of how the work of a field is conducted. However, in the social sciences, experimentation can be more difficult. Instead of working with lasers or minerals or lab rats, we work with human beings situated in their worlds. The idea of conducting a scientific experiment on people may seem simple, but it gets difficult quickly as we start to plan it. In order to make a strong comparison, we would need individuals who are identical on characteristics that would influence how they would respond to the experiment. This is clearly a difficult task. Continue reading