Imagine facing a classroom of 25 middle/high school students with the expectation that they will all master the same content and skills. Compound that challenge with a daily schedule that provides only 42 minutes each for seven different classes. This teacher is expected to provide every learner with rich content while developing thinking and problem solving skills. For many years we have accepted that the most efficient method to teach 175 students per day is to prepare one lesson, but what should a teacher do when all students don't learn with that single lesson plan?
Typically, lessons are designed to teach to the average student. Unfortunately, when we design for the average, we leave many students behind. Harvard
Professor, L. Todd Rose, reminds us in his The Myth of Average TedTalk that there are many elements of learning, and every learner has his/her own profile of strengths and weaknesses. Rose describes this as a "jagged edge learning profile." He suggests that if we design experiences to accommodate for the edges of learning, we will nurture the potential of every individual student creating a more customized approach.
In Stark County and the surrounding region, this work is embodied in the ALL IN: Ensuring Success for All Students grant. Through teacher training, ALL IN educators adopt a mindset shift by embracing the concept of designing experiences that reach the various edges of each learning element. In architecture it is called Universal Design, a strategy that considers nuances in the construction of a building to meet the diverse needs of every user of the facility. In education, the goal of customized learning is to meet the individualized needs of ALL learners.
 27 districts - including every Stark County school district - participate in ALL IN