Sorrento Springs Elementary School is accelerating the implementation of Parkway's Personalized Learning initiative. We strive to be a school where other educators can come and see innovative approaches toward learning.
At Sorrento, we are focused on knowing our students and--more importantly--helping students know themselves. As we work hard to replace factory-model schools with personalized, student-centered learning experiences, knowing our students has taken on new meaning. We are guided by broader definitions of success and a set of forward-thinking competencies—the knowledge, skills, and habits students will need not only to survive but to thrive as adults.
If students are to move from self-awareness to exercising agency, the learning environment needs to transform to provide opportunities for self-direction and choices. Learner profiles help LEDs understand the learner in every child. They are used to set student-centered pathways toward student-selected goals. They help us create an atmosphere in which educators offer choices, and students, over time, make more of the decisions about what, how, or even where they will learn. In addition to empowering students to make choices about their learning and environment, learner profiles are a key first step for student goal-setting and designing a plan to achieve them.
By utilizing learner profiles, we are able to gain a deeper understanding of our learners’ strengths, passions, needs, interests, family, culture, and community, thus providing the best and most personalized access to high quality, authentic learning experiences.
Learner profiles encourage a fuller understanding of who each child is. To support students’ self-knowledge and ownership of their learning, we include the students and their parents in conversations about strengths, interests, and learning goals. Additionally, interviews, data conversations, and student-led conferences also help us provide a forum for building a fuller profile of each learner.
Learning profiles include learning preferences, strengths, and challenges and is shaped by the categories of personal identity, academic information, learner mindset, and interests.
- Learner Mindset: Strengths, skills, habits, strategies/tools, learner skills & dispositions
- Interests: motivational hooks/hobbies, current preoccupations, hopes for the future, aspirations, factors that propel learning, and current non-academic goals
- Personal Identity: family background, cultural preferences, existing supports (I.E.P., 504, interventions), and other shared information
- Academic Information: evidence of learning, artifacts, academic goals, reflections, test scores, progress data, and formative assessments
Our LEDs provide options for how students access, engage with, and express their learning. Through making choices and exercising agency, students can acquire the skills and executive function they will need to direct their learning throughout their future.
As beneficial as learner profiles are to our learning ecosystem, we also hold strong to the notion of not pigeonholing students based on their profiles. We realize that students are ever-changing and that each experience informs, sparks, or uncovers new interests and therefore learners and their profiles will continually evolve and change.
By guiding students as they gain a deeper understanding of themselves, LEDs can coach students within their strengths and preferences from the start!
LEDs look forward to supporting learner self-expression and growth and supporting them as they work within their strengths!
And there's so much more to our learner-centered mindset at Sorrento...
- We value and teach the skills for design thinking and critical problem solving. Our design process: Explore, Design, Launch
- We are patient with all learners and are willing to let them learn by failing forward
- We want learning to extend beyond the school and build into our learners a desire to thrive and impact our ever-changing world
- We have a willingness to dismantle centuries-old structures that have not allowed all learners to find success in school
- We believe that learning is everywhere and our learning spaces need to be designed with flexibility in mind.
- In just the first few months after launching our personalized learning school, we saw students giving TED talks, recording and sharing podcasts, developing museum exhibits, completing design challenges, playing a drum concert, leading a new club, creating new learning spaces, and so much more.