Building Ownership & Interest: Personalization in High School English

Building Ownership & Interest: Personalization in High School English

When elements of flexibility are added into classes to personalize the learning experience for students, it allows them to take greater ownership of their learning and to engage more deeply with the content.

In today’s podcast episode, we examine personalization in High School English, a continuation of our series on personalization in different subject settings. For this conversation, we are joined by Jean Matheson, a High School English teacher, and Frans, a Grade 12 student who has been at WAB for 16 years.

In the conversation, you will hear how Jean applies personalization in her classroom, how this approach sets students up for success outside of WAB, and why this approach can promote student engagement.

“You have to think outside the box. And I think that's something that we're trying to teach our students to do: to take on that lateral thinking to really consider how everything connects, not just in English, but to so many other subjects too. Personalization sometimes means you might need to even take some assessment away or modify some of the tasks that you're doing so that you can find the core of what it is that they need to do,” Jean explains in this week’s episode.

For Frans, personalization in High School English has given him the opportunity to explore his interest in literature in greater depth and to take real ownership over his learning.

“Throughout my 16 years at WAB, I've been able to understand how important it is to stay engaged in the course. Obviously, within English, there are some texts that I feel more enthusiastic about but being able to bring in your own personal passions and interests is really a motivator,” Frans said.

As part of WAB’s personalized learning approach in High School English, Frans was able to incorporate a list of pre-approved non-literary texts into his learning, which he found very appealing:

“It’s exciting to have this choice as a student because there's a real emphasis on the imperative placed upon you as you feel that you can take real control of your own education. To have that choice, it feels a lot more personalized and a lot more customized to you and what you want to do,” he said.

To hear the full conversation with Jean and Frans, be sure to tune in!