Personalization in Schools

Susan Yonezawa, Larry McClure, and Makeba Jones

Thoughtful educators personalize school every day—greeting students by name, offering academic help, checking in about serious family problems. But how can teacher-student relationships play a more formal role in personalizing education for students?

This 2012 report reviews research on personalization, emphasizing the importance of student-teacher relationships. The authors provide examples of personalization in schools, such as advisories and small schools, and suggest next steps for personalization, which include mastery-based instruction, digital technology, and college and career readiness.

Educators who use teacher-student relationships to create classroom environments that foster feelings of competency—particularly among students who have been marginalized for any number of reasons—can invigorate students who were previously disengaged.