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Personal Competencies/Personalized Learning: Reflection on Instruction

Author(s)Janet Twyman and Sam Redding
Publication dateFebruary 2015
publication pdfPersonal Competencies/Personalized Learning: Reflection on Instruction

In 2014, state teams in the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) on Supports & Interventions were asked to identify topics they would like to see further developed. High on the list of priority topics selected by the Supports & Interventions SCASS was the practical application of personalized learning concepts by teachers. This publication and its companion, "Personal Competencies/Personalized Learning: Lesson Plan Reflection Guide," were created in response to that request.

According to the Center on Innovations in Learning at Temple University, "Personalization refers to a teacher's relationships with students and their families and the use of multiple instructional modes to scaffold each student's learning and enhance the student's personal competencies. Personalized learning varies the time, place, and pace of learning for each student, enlists the student in the creation of learning pathways, and utilizes technology to manage and document the learning process and access rich sources of information."

  • Personal competencies underlie all learning and, as described by Redding (2014), are "an ever-evolving accumulation of related capabilities that facilitate learning and other forms of goal attainment." Redding identifies four main competency areas:
    • Cognitive Competency-prior learning that organizes the mind and provides associations and understanding to facilitate new learning
    • Metacognitive Competency-self-regulation of learning and use of learning strategies
    • Motivational Competency-engagement and persistence in pursuit of learning goals
    • Social/Emotional Competency-sense of self-worth, regard for others, and emotional understanding and management to set positive goals and make responsible decisions

Personal competencies appear integral to learning, as they are both acquired through learning and applied in the learning process. Personalized learning often amplifies the importance of personal competencies. As Redding (2014) states, "[u]nderlying the optimism about personalized learning is the belief that a student's desire to learn and effectivenessin learning are enhanced when the learning is personalized" (p.4). As students are given greater choice and control over learning, their more prominent role in the entire learning process only magnifies the importance of personal competencies,and how educators may enhance and support them.

Contact:Kirsten Taylor Carrkirsten.carr@ccsso.org