Teachers’ Voices Season 3 Episode 10

Join educational researcher Nina Alonso for this podcast series as she shares powerful stories from teachers around the world, talking in their own words about their own experiences.

In what ways do students differ from each other in their learning? How does one student vary in their own learning from day to day? How can schools embrace these types of learning variability?

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In this episode, Nina talks to Julia Leonard, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University. Learning variability, Julia explains, is both “my learning might be different than your learning” and “my learning one day might be different from the other day”. It is also that “my learning in one class might be different than another class”. Julia’s research asks how educators can create contexts that bring kids to the top of their potential.

Nina also meets Guyot Betoto, a secondary school teacher from Madagascar. Guyot teaches large groups of students and is always looking for ways to adapt to student variability. He explains how he moves around the group and identifies learners’ needs, and empowers students to lead and motivate others in the group: “They do it with pleasure”.

Next, Nina speaks to two edupreneurs from LearnLife in Barcelona, where students’ interests and passions are at the centre of their learning. Emma Buckle, Community Partnerships & Development Director, explains that the LearnLife approach is a “truly personal model that helps learners focus on and find their own personal passion”.

Devin Carberry, LearnLife’s Barcelona Hub Lead, tells Nina about the way students direct their own learning. “Amazing projects come out of this because we give learners a space to reconnect with learning how they like to do it.”

Listen out for

  • The challenge preschoolers face in learning new rules in a new context.
  • Noticing students in class who are distracted or going through difficult situations.
  • Adapting learning plans according to areas students want to explore and grow in.

Find out more on BOLD

Learning variability – Our hub dedicated to learning variability within individuals, within groups, and across contexts contains articles on the science behind adaptive technology, personalised learning, neurodiversity, and much more.

Adaptive teaching: Rethinking the nature of learning in schools – A five-minute animated explainer on making adaptive teaching a reality.

Using edtech to personalize learning – Garvin Brod and Leonard Tetzlaff explain that successful learning personalization tools adapt to children as they change.

Helping every child maximise their potential through personalised education – A UNESCO report calls personalised education a human right.

Guests and resources

Julia Leonard – Lab website, Twitter/X

Guyot Betoto

Emma Buckle – LinkedIn, Twitter/X

Devin Carberry – LinkedIn

LearnLife – website, Facebook, YouTube

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