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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah parents, raise your hand if you have more than one child.

“How many of you noticed that they tend to differ from each other? In some profound ways, right? And these are your own children,” said Scott Palmer, managing partner and co-founder of EducationCounsel, a mission-based education consulting firm dedicated to significantly improving the U.S. education system.

Palmer, who addressed Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s Education Summit on Tuesday at the University of Utah, noted that “variability is the norm when it comes to human development. And yet we have schools and systems that are too often based on age-based cohorts.”

Humans are “profoundly individual,” not only how they differ from one another but how they learn, he said.

“Think about the implications of that for personalization and competency-based learning, for things like advisories and student plans. Think about what that means for the role of teachers and differentiation and also what it means for agency and choice and fit. Again, (these are) very profound implications for our education system,” he said.

Palmer, who spoke on transforming education by elevating the science of learning and development in policy and practice, said there is a pronounced moral, economic and democratic imperative to educate all children to high levels.

“The fact that we’re dealing with long-standing equities and changing demographics only increases the urgency. For example, for the first time in our public schools, a majority of our students are students in poverty, and a majority are students of color in our country,” he said.

The demographics differ somewhat in Utah, but the Beehive State has a sizable portion of students who live in poverty, have disabilities and are English learners, he said.

“There’s a lot of diversity and challenge here. These are the sets of kids, all of our kids, …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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