A Principal’s Reflections: Shifting Our Focus

A Principal’s Reflections: Shifting Our Focus

People, by character, are seriously influenced by encounter. As these types of, we often do matters a certain way because that is either all we know or what we are relaxed carrying out. Imagine about this for a 2nd when it comes to habits in schooling. We normally educate the way we had been taught and direct in a way that we have been led. I’d wager that lots of of you reading this post are bobbing your head in agreement, despite the fact that there are often exceptions. Adjust is difficult, particularly if we have been influenced in a specific way. Hoping a thing new or unique can instill a sense of concern or an awkward sensation, which in change retains us firmly entrenched in our strategies. Though this is certainly purely natural, it can probably inhibit expansion. 

Just mainly because we had been taught a specific way or informed how to guide a mastering tradition proficiently doesn’t indicate we shy absent from tough regular norms. As I have said frequently around the a long time, TTWWADI (which is the way we have generally completed it) is one particular of the most perilous phrases in schooling. Modifying behavior commences with shifting our concentrate with much less emphasis on instruction and far more on mastering. While the previous even now has benefit, the latter qualified prospects to improved results and accomplishment. Try to remember, instruction is what the teacher does, and studying is what the college student not only does but demonstrates. For this reason, there is a need to have to prioritize the “who” rather of the “what.”

A excellent way to conceptualize this is as a result of the lens of personalization. An impersonal technique is all pupils executing the identical point the similar way at the same time. Even though this can have advantage in moderation, too much use of 1-sizing-matches-all techniques is inequitable. They also are inclined to concentrate on the “what .”On the other hand, personalization is where all learners get what they will need when and wherever they require it through equitable ordeals. There is also clarity in terms of why they are studying what they are and how it will be utilized outdoors of university.


As I detailed in Disruptive Pondering in Our Classrooms, customized mastering represents a motion from the “what” to the “who” as a suggests to aid pupil possession of the understanding system. The picture over signifies a significant shift in phrases of how we imagine about the intent of training. Traditionally it revolved all-around “what” is taught, in the curriculum, on the exam, or required for advertising or graduation.  

This change success in not only a refined emphasis but also some sizeable positive aspects this sort of as:

  • Obtaining, using, and making new expertise
  • Applicable software of finding out to resolve real-entire world issues
  • Setting up on diverse strengths and requires of all college students
  • Fostering independence and self-regulation, ensuing in greater possession of mastering
  • Distinct methods to facilitate discovering by significant-company techniques these as voice, option, path, tempo, and put.
  • Seamless alignment with the RTI/MTSS process 


A shift to a more personalised solution can gasoline improved results and final results whilst foreseeable future-proofing mastering in the procedure. Although technological innovation can be leveraged, it is not the finish-all or be-all. Normally recall that you can personalize with out digital equipment. Pedagogy trumps engineering. In the end, the precedence is, and constantly will be, offering an equitable discovering expertise for all students.