Get Rid of Grade Levels: A Personalized Learning Recipe for Public School Districts

Travis Lape, EdSurge, Apr 28, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is an interesting effort that is well worth following over the course of the next year. A school district in South Dakota is eliminating grades in favour of personal learning. To support this, they have developed a model incorporating alternative learning methodologies for active, collaborative and learner-driven learning. Instead of classes they have things like 'the daily dish', a meeting where learners plan their day around the on things happening in each of the studios, and 'CT Circles', "critical thinking discussion groups to help learners deepen their understanding of specific learning." I hope that when they review the outcomes they don't just look at standardized tests (which of course still presume classes and grade levels) and take a more all-encompassing look at student progress. I also hope they give it more than just a year.

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