A Los Angeles High School is trying to prove that more individual instruction can be provided with larger class sizes. How might they accomplish this? Alliance Tennenbaum Family Technology High School hopes that blended learning, a model which for this school includes a third of their class time in traditional teacher-led instruction, a third working independently online, and a third in collaboration with each other, can provide the answer.
A new article from Education Sector, “The Right Mix: How One Los Angeles School is Blending a Curriculum for Personalized Learning”, profiles an east Los Angeles charter school that illustrates both the strengths and the challenges of implementing this radical new way of educating students.
Tennenbaum, which uses a rotational model, gives students three ways to learn: Students spend a third of their class time in traditional teacher-led instruction, a third working independently online, and a third in collaboration with each other. “At Tennenbaum, what looks like a class size of 48 students effectively becomes an ideal student-to-teacher ratio of 16-to-1,” says author Susan Headden. The school also departs from the norm in that its curriculum is competency-based—students move on only when they’ve proven mastery of the material.
To a large extent, Tennenbaum has taken a leap of faith, Headden says. There is still little research on the effectiveness of blended learning or on which models work best. But Headden says one thing seems clear: “For technology to make a difference in student learning, it must be integral to instruction, and it must come with humans attached.”
Read Headden’s full article “The Right Mix: How One Los Angeles School is Blending a Curriculum for Personalized Learning”. Also watch “A Look Inside Tennenbaum,” for exclusive interviews with Tennenbaum Principal Mickie Tubbs, and to see the school’s rotational model in action: http://www.educationsector.org/publications/right-mix-how-one-los-angeles-school-blending-curriculum-personalized-learning