Personalized Learning and Questions of Equity

Can an education system built around personalized learning produce more equitable outcomes than the current model of schooling? This question has been rattling in my head during the past few weeks as I continue to explore the movement toward personalization, which seems to be gaining at least some momentum in recent years with an increasing number of schools and even states adopting more personalized approaches to education. My current state of residence, Vermont, is fully enmeshed in the personalization movement. In 2013, the state passed Act 77, which aims to provide students in Vermont with multiple and flexible pathways to high school graduation through increased access to work-based and blended learning opportunities, dual enrollment, and early college. It also requires all students in grades 7-12 to have a personalized learning plan (PLP) by the 2018-19 school year. Paired with the state’s Education Quality Standards, which mandates that high schools develop proficiency-based rather than “seat time” graduation requirements by 2020, Act 77 aims to “move[s] Vermont’s public education system to a model based on personalization” (Vermont Agency of Education, n.d., p. 5). Continue reading

Decentralization of decision-making in international education systems

I have long been interested in education in the developing world and the decentralization of decision-making in these regions. My initial perspective was in favor of decentralized models for the purpose of supporting sustainable and locally relevant economic development. Further investigation into this topic through coursework and my personal research has pushed my thinking. In this post, I would like to define decentralization in this context and consider some of the issues that arise in programs of decentralization. Continue reading

The Complexity of School Change

We talk about the education system all the time.  When we do, our mental images can look like organizational flow charts representing school and district structures.  Students answer to teachers, who answer to administrators, who communicate with the central office, and on up the chain of command.  It‘s easy to imagine direct lines of communication, authority, and power. Continue reading

Welcome to our EDLP doctorate program blog

Welcome to Crosscutting Conversations in Education, a blog created by students in the Education Leadership and Policy Studies (EDLP) doctoral programs in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont. We have created  this space as a forum for individuals affiliated with the EDLP programs to express their thoughts and insights about topics of interest in education and to reflect on their experiences as practitioners and scholars.

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