We often hear of the concept of average—the average family, average height, the average life, yet this can be a misleading concept. An average is created by adding everything together and dividing it evenly. Individuals, on the other hand, fall along every possible location on the spectrum. Students are no exception. Each child has a unique combination of personality, abilities, preferences, learning styles, and interests. To provide a little more perspective, check out this talk by Ted Rose at TEDxSonoma County.
For those that do not have time to watch, here is the big idea.”The Air Force has good pilots with better planes but are getting worse results.”What they discovered was that cockpits in the fighter planes were created for the “average” pilot. But each pilot had a jagged profile of size—no average existed! The average cockpit actually fit ZERO pilots! Eventually, they created an adjustable cockpit, which then solved their issue. Fast-forward to schools today and you will find the same dilemma. As stated early, students are unique. Similar to a fighter pilot’s jagged profile of size, students also have a diverse learning profile composed of all of their strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, textbooks and curriculum today are created for the non-existent “average student”. This hurts the learning and growth of all students!
At Providence School of Arts, we are seeking to challenge this myth of teaching towards the “average” student with Individualized Learning Pathways.
Put simply, teachers will be working to teach each student in their class according to their God-given unique abilities. This can come to fruition in an endless number of ways. It may mean utilizing pictures and media instead of just words to work with various learning preferences. It may mean providing choices on how to show learning outside of simply a test. It could also look like working in a small group on areas of weakness or working on a more challenging project in an area of strength. We look forward to partnering with parents and families to create Individualized Learning Pathways that allow each student to learn and grow in whatever way is best for them!