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Turning "What If's" into "Right Now's"


My PLC at Brookfield Central has chosen to take on James Rickabaugh’s new book Tapping the Power of Personalized Learning: A Roadmap for School Leaders as a book study project.   Our first meeting was centered around the “why” of our participation in the book study and the basic definition of Personalized learning put forth by the book.  We had our second meeting today and we focused on Chapter 1.


The focus of chapter 1 is the assumptions that lead to legacy practices and the facts that challenge those assumptions and therefore challenge legacy practices. In addition, the chapter focuses on the different levers we can use to produce change in our learning environments.  Those levers are
  • Structures
  • Samples
  • Standards
  • Strategies
  • Self
In our discussion, we focused on our reactions to these assumptions and how they have informed practice.  We also discussed ideas for taking steps towards moving our practice to one which attempts to move away from assumption of learning and learners and more towards the facts of learning and learners.


We used the doc below to guide us. It contains text directly from Chapter 1 of Dr. Rickabaugh’s book. I attempted to capture our discussion in blue. It feels like only a surface image of the rich discussion.


The great thing about the conversation is that it highlighted not “what if’s” but “right now’s”.  By that I mean, these are practices teachers at Central are currently using to personalize learning in the classroom.    

These great practices highlight the work of Daniel Tess, Elke Sommers, Patrick Perez, and Pete Mejac.  





It was tough to end the conversation after 40 minutes knowing we had so much to learn from these brave practitioners. Feels like we just scratched the surface of how we can find ways to make these changes real in manageable increments. But change that will be meaningful to learners.


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