6. Intentionally Build Habits of Character
On top of lesson planning, grading papers and professional development, teachers are expected to strengthen students’ interpersonal skills and positive character traits. In personalized learning experiences, thoughtfully designed learning environments that grant students more freedom, shift some of the responsibility from educators to learners and encourage the development of positive qualities like perseverance, accountability and curiosity.
For students to succeed in personalized learning environments, they need to develop qualities like resilience and integrity, and skills like conflict resolution. In addition to modeling these behaviors, teachers can strengthen students’ interpersonal skills and character development by naming and explaining character traits, providing opportunities to work without explicit oversight and reinforcing positive behaviors.
Thoughtfully consider each interaction with a student as an opportunity to practice habits of character.
Choose rewards that reinforce and celebrate desired habits and behaviors.
Introduce learning challenges that encourage students to practice habits of character like curiosity, self-management or growth mindset.
Story from the Field
One school Steelcase Education researchers visited is trying to develop independent, resourceful students. They call their students “heroes” and the teachers “guides.” If a student asks, “When did World War II end?” the guide will answer the question with another question, “Where might you find that information?” Educators in this school empower students with information literacy and self-sufficiency as well as help them learn important facts and figures.
Launch Pad: Try these Personalized Learning activities today
Use Space to Encourage and Reinforce Behaviors
The learning environment encourages and enables habits of character like curiosity, creativity, expression and reflection.
Give Tools to Help Students Self-Evaluate
By providing freedom and choice in the learning environment, students are given opportunities to practice responsibility and self-management.
Encourage Social Learning
Community, empathy and a sense of others is a critical part of the personalized learning experience that is supported through various learning activities such as peer reviews or partner activities.