1.1 The Three Pillars of Personalized Learning

Climb every pillar…

The “three pillars” are a helpful way to envision the three components of personalized learning. They’re interdependent, working best when implemented together. Together they can help us create improve learning for young adolescents.


Green Mountain Union High School provides students with a program known as Wilderness Semester. Students learn outdoors skills such as cold weather survival, building shelters, and natural history. They work toward becoming an emotionally resilient and caring community of learners, while each learner also advocates for themselves. Which pillars does this describe?


Food for thought

Want to explore more? Check out these educators putting the pillars into practice.

Now tell us

  • When you take a birds-eye view of your current teaching practice, how many pillars would you say you work with daily?
  • Think back on your past year of teaching. What’s one experience you provided for your students that involved all three pillars?
  • If you asked your latest group of students, would they agree with your answers to Questions 1 & 2?

We’ve drafted a quick exercise for you and/or your team to take stock of where you are in implementing the three pillars as part of personalized learning. It features this printable .pdf featuring scales for examining implementation. Wherever you are now is fine, because now you have a baseline for measuring where you want to go next.

Let’s go

The three pillars are easy to grasp but tricky to implement, as you may have discovered yourself. So let’s break down this Personalized Learning concept a little further.

Next up: The Definition of a PLP.