At least 75 percent of public school parents, teachers, and the American public believe most students are capable of reaching high levels of educational achievement, according to a survey conducted by Langer Research Associates of New York for Digital Promise Global’s Learner Variability Project.
Approximately 8 in 10 of those surveyed also say that learners vary by way of their personal background and knowledge, their health and psychological wellbeing, and how they think, among other things. And while they express an overwhelming preference for approaches tailored to students’ learner variability—their strengths, challenges, social and emotional abilities, and background—only 19 to 29 percent of those surveyed say most students are reaching high levels of academic achievement today.
The survey, Learning in the 21st Century: How the American Public, Parents, and Teachers View Students’ Potential and Their Learning Experience, is the first in a series we plan to conduct to explore how teachers, parents, and the general public view learning in order to help students reach their potential. Our goal is to share results and use the findings to inform efforts to ensure all students have powerful learning experiences.
The study surveyed a representative sample of 1,389 U.S. adults, including 550 public school parents, and an additional 516 public school teachers on a range of issues related to learning, including the capability of students to achieve at high levels, learner variability, tailored approaches to learning, use of educational technology (edtech), and what teachers rely on to do their work. Findings from the report include:
Overall, findings suggest that fostering awareness of learner variability and student potential is likely to encourage further support for tailored instruction and edtech. One of the principles of Powerful Learning at Digital Promise focuses on the need for learning to be personal and tailored to the variability in each learner. The findings from this survey underscore the importance of understanding the variability in each learner and providing a path for personal and accessible learning experiences in order to help each student rise to meet their potential.
We are currently developing a follow-up survey that will provide an even deeper understanding and more context on Learning in the 21st Century.
For more information on learner variability: