Supporting Learner Variability in the Classroom through Micro-Credentials

Introduction

Educators welcome an incredibly diverse set of students into their classrooms daily. Every student brings a unique background, set of experiences, interests, strengths, and challenges. The role of the educator is to understand this variability and account for it while teaching complex curriculum in a way that each student feels supported and successful in school. Accomplishing this is not easy. This is why understanding learner variability is key for educators—it empowers them to make intentional choices designed for each learner.

Learner variability, by definition, must account for the whole child. It implies knowing not only students’ academic abilities but also their strengths, challenges, emotions, and background characteristics that influence learning. The recognition that variability exists among learners in the classroom can lead to different decisions being made on how to design classroom environments to support learning. When we understand learner variability in this way, classroom challenges become a design problem, not a student problem.

In order to design our classrooms to meet the needs of our learners, educators must first understand the ways in which learners vary. Equally critical is incorporating this understanding into supporting learners in the classroom. The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation and Digital Promise Global’s Learner Variability Project (LVP) have committed to building teachers’ capacity to address learner variability in their classrooms. We built a set of nine micro-credentials aligned with the LVP Navigator:

Attention

Inhibition

Social Awareness

Auditory Processing

Relationship Skills

Speed of Processing

Emotional Regulation

Self-regulation

Visual Processing

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Authors and Contributors