As globalization, technology, and innovation continues to propel the world forward with new ideas, concepts, and ways of examining problems, the appeal of customization grows within various sectors. With the old adage that “one size fits all” no longer passing as adequate within various aspects of life, the implementation of modernization methods allows for a more bespoke fit within many disciplines, including education.
Traditionally, teachers have taught groups of children within the same age and grade very specific information, and have expected these children to comprehend concise strategies, develop insight related to newly mastered information, and parlay this information in meaningful ways throughout the future. However, as individuals vary vastly in personality, learning style, comprehension, and assessment of information, this seemingly ancient status quo has been problematic from the start. For students who do not immediately master the foundation of information, a great risk exists in being proverbially “left behind”, and needing needing to catch up on their basic understanding in order to have a chance of mastering more advanced concepts, or risk falling further behind with every school year.
With such unique needs, learning styles, and levels of comprehension present within groups of children within the same classroom structure, the need for customization is more clear than ever before. By leveraging the transformative powers of technology to provide a bespoke learning environment, various companies are stepping into the public education sphere, and urging traditional school systems to adapt meaningful, customized, data driven educational platforms.
New Classrooms and Customized Learning
A leader within the modernization of the educational system, New Classrooms, is at the forefront of this methodology of custom math education, with Teach to One. This comprehensive program utilizes classroom space in an innovative manner, allows teachers to parlay nuanced information to small groups of learners who are at the same stage of the course, and provides all students with the opportunity to “catch up” on skills that have been previously unmastered, explore and develop new skills, or move forward past their designated grade level, all based on a student success determined speed.
Teach to One focuses on the benefits of providing students with individualized routes toward math success, teaching the practical skills needed to advance their knowledge based on bespoke plans, and parlaying learning skills that can be applied to all aspects of life. By allowing students to forge independent paths toward the same goal of mastering math education, Teach to One provides alternative solutions to the educational equivalent of the “one size fits all” mantra.
With such an innovative approach, Teach to One’s not-for-profit parent organization, New Classrooms, manifests totally transparent operations, allowing data-driven results to attest to the project’s success. With several national and third-party assessments of schools participating within the Teach to One program exhibiting higher than average results in terms of math performance, the potentially transformative power of customization in the classroom cannot be denied.
Within the Teach to One system, students at participating schools enter a designated area, where they are instructed, via digital screens, where to go for their first lesson of the segment, and what topics they will be covering. This can range from independent assignments to complete, group work to accomplish with a matched group of students working on progression in the same specified lessons, or instructor-led lessons.
After a dedicated amount of time has passed, students hear a sound, which indicates the culmination of the first lesson, and the need to find their second assignment. This assignment focuses on another topic of discussion, and is formatted in a different manner. After completing the second assignment, students complete an exit slip, which aims to garner data regarding their understanding and comprehension of the topics covered that day, and the ability to parlay those topics in a cumulative manner.
Students who have showcased deficits in “grade-level” proficiency benefit from time spent completing lessons aimed at mastering those deficits, while students who showcase above “grade-level” proficiencies may work toward differing comprehension. With a cohesive goal to prepare every student for success within post-matriculation studies, and the workforce, Teach to One achieves this all-encompassing goal through specialized methodology for each student.
The Teach to One Method
Through personalization and customization, Teach to One harnesses each student’s unique needs, abilities, and learning styles, and creates a tailored program designed to foster success. This type of personalized attention has previously never been available within a traditional classroom setting, and is a thoroughly modern implementation of technology for the betterment of the student. Though the concept of personalized learning isn’t entirely new, the ability to successfully implement the concept through operationally sound infrastructure has prevented eager educators from being able to jump on board.
Teach to One’s focus on personalization doesn’t negate the importance of the development of interpersonal skills, teamwork, and group problem solving. While some work is highly specialized and independent, assignments that are social in nature balance out the curriculum, and allow students to harness the power of group work through working with peers who are engaged in similar activities within the curriculum, instead of merely classmates.
This data-backed means of fostering group work allows students to flourish within the group setting, and work together from a place of confidence, positivity, and equality. In turn, through teacher-led instruction and communication, lesson plans customized toward a group’s current and specific needs allow the teacher to be more effective, rendering teaching time a more powerful tool for creating a transformative impact.
Though the program is considerably new and innovative, Teach to One has garnered positive feedback from currently participating educational partners. As increased numbers of schools open their doors to the concept of customized learning, especially in terms of adopting programs like Teach to One, more data can be garnered to gain an understanding of the long-term benefits of customized learning.
As rising needs in education continue to require innovative approaches toward resolving, technological advancements can offer unprecedented opportunities for a more meaningful, successful, and bespoke educational experience. Through the adoption of these breakthrough options, educators and students can foster new results in a system where the status quo undeniably fails to educate all children, despite comprehension levels, and other circumstances. In education, much like in other areas of life, one size simply does not fit all, and Teach to One aims to provide just the right fit for every student.
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