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Personalized Learning in the Age of Accountability

Mon, April 12, 11:10am to 12:10pm EDT (11:10am to 12:10pm EDT), Division L, Division L - Section 7 Roundtable Sessions


Technology-mediated personalized learning (PL) is gaining traction in K-12 schools. In this paper, I examine PL as an instructional reform at the intersection of accountability, privatization, equity, and constructivism and illuminate issues to consider in implementing constructivist educational reforms in a neoliberal accountability-driven climate. I use Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) to explore the complex and dynamic interaction between societal and institutional norms and priorities, and the interpretations and actions of classroom teachers. Findings indicate that there may be an inherent contradiction between the drivers of PL: student-centered, constructivist teaching practices and neoliberal market-driven, accountability-based reforms. This contradiction undergirded other emerging contradictions, and served as a key mediator of teachers’ understanding and interpretation of PL.