One Size Doesn’t Fit All in Education
June 5, 2020
one size doesn't fit all

Our one-size-fits-all model of traditional education has been based on the false idea that every student in a given class is performing at the same level academically, behaviorally, and socially and that they all need the same things. As a result, many students are bored, frustrated, or not able to access the learning.

It’s time we do the work to ensure we reach all students–no matter where they are or where they want to go. We know that not every child learns the same, which is why we have advanced programs, 504 plans, and individual education plans. But it’s not enough.

Schools are creating tiers of support to identify which level of support each student needs. It becomes more complicated as we look at the academic, behavioral, and social needs of each student; a child cannot be summed up in his or her ability to learn. There are so many other facets to take into account. For example, that student who may have no academic challenges in the majority of their classes, but who needs support in one academic area.

Creating a personalized solution, using the agreed-upon supports from a tiered system, allows schools to provide consistent and specific support for all students.

Some school districts across the United States are implementing the multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) model, but it’s been few and far between. This cohesive model goes beyond subject matter and addresses what support (academically, behaviorally, and socially) needs to be available for each student in order to maximize their learning. It’s time for all schools to implement a similar model to meet the needs of every child.

positive behavioral interventions and supports

Credit: pbis.org

Let’s unpack what the three tiers look like.

  • Tier 1 is the for-everyone foundational tier. As you can see in the chart these are regular, proactive practices and systems of supports that every teacher should make available for every student. A few examples:
    • Academic work at the student level and pace
    • School culture of kindness
    • Graphic organizers (and practice using them) to organize thoughts and projects

     

  • Tier 2 of the MTSS provides additional supports for students identified as needing extra skills and resources to access their learning. This is often provided in supplemental or small group assistance. A few examples:
    • Extra help with academics (and executive function)
    • A clear referral system for additional student support or instruction
    • Social communication support

     

  • Tier 3 is for students who need more intensive and individualized support. These students have often completed formal assessments to determine the specific supports and programming needed.

This humane and effective approach to honoring each unique learning profile is creating wonderful results. Just one example of how schools can implement this approach is at LEADPrep Academy.

The challenge is for all educators to demand that there are common tools for support and ways to connect those supports with students needing them to have full access to learning and success.

 

Latest Episodes

Take a Step Away from the Overwhelm

There’s so much overwhelm out there today, and our teachers are feeling the brunt of it. They’re tasked with so much right now, from their regular teaching duties to “catching kids up” to navigating the trauma of kids, families, and themselves. It’s no wonder that my...

Growing Digitally Savvy and Questioning Kids with Amy Jussel

It’s impossible to get around media these days. We’re constantly inundated with images and content on social media, in our search browsers, on television, and even walking or driving down the street. As adults, we know that looking critically at the media is...

Latest Blog Posts

Why Isn’t Educational Change Happening?

School change is so much harder than I thought! When I did my doctoral research on school innovation and created a hands-on learning school-within-a-school in the 90s, I had no idea that I’d spend the next few decades making tiny changes. Changes that often...

Instilling a Practice of Gratitude in Uncertain Times

Thanksgiving looks different this year. Traditions are being shattered in 2020 and new realities are emerging. Thanksgiving is no exception. After Canada’s Thanksgiving in October, COVID statistics jumped, reminding us that, sadly, the pandemic isn’t taking a break...

Building Interdisciplinary Learning into Traditional Classrooms

A traditional classroom setting is just that...traditional. Teachers must teach specific subjects for a required amount of time, often using prescribed curriculum materials that may be a decade old. There’s little consideration for the individual learner--their...

Categories
Categories

Menu

Here

Subscribe
Listen to Education Evolution on Apple Podcasts
Listen to Education Evolution on Spotify
Listen to Education Evolution on Stitcher
Listen on Google Play Music

Related Posts

Growing Digitally Savvy and Questioning Kids with Amy Jussel

Growing Digitally Savvy and Questioning Kids with Amy Jussel

You know, that was something I had to learn Maureen, like abundance versus scarcity. And I wasn’t always like that. So the, you know, it’s growth mindset, you can teach an old dog new tricks. And so I had to learn that abundance mindset outside to learn, you know, sort of like the infinite versus the finite game that in order for me to win, marine doesn’t have to lose. And, you know, the funny story is like Jethro Jones or Justin Bader, they were, I think they were the two podcasts that were really established when I came on the scene in 2015.

Making Learning Magical with the Four C’s with guest Chad Stewart

Making Learning Magical with the Four C’s with guest Chad Stewart

With our current top-down education model, where the bottom line at the administrative level seems to be more important than whether our kids learn, creativity has been thrown out the window. We’re teaching to the test, rather than fostering the four C’s (creativity,...

Sign Up for Podcast Announcements
and Get our Free Guide:
Five Interdependent Hacks to Lead the Creation of a Learner-Centered Culture!

By providing your email address you are agreeing to receive email communications from Education Evolution.
You can unsubscribe at any time.