Personalizing 21st Century Education: A Framework for Student Success

For Immediate Release
March 14, 2016

Mike Onorato/Publicist

James Minichello


  By Dan Domenech, Morton Sherman, John L. Brown

Personalizing Education CoverWhat does it mean for students to be truly educated in a rapidly changing, technology-driven, and globally interconnected 21st century world? How can we ensure that every student receives a challenging, rigorous, engaging, and personalized learning experience throughout their elementary, middle, and high school years? Personalizing 21st Century Education explores the meaning of and a possible future direction for education in the 21st century—an education that transcends the archaic factory model of teaching and learning to which most students in public schools are still exposed.

Personalizing 21st Century Education: A Framework for Student Success (Jossey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley; Available March 2016; ISBN: 978-1-119-08077-0; $29.95, Paper) begins with a manifesto for change, emphasizing the significance of true personalization for every learner. Next, it describes classroom, school, and system-level performance indicators that suggest that personalization is alive and well. The authors examine the historical origins of most modern school cultures—i.e., a commitment to standardization, depersonalization, and test-driven metrics that ignore the complexity and totality of the whole child. Throughout Personalizing 21st Century Education are success stories showcasing schools and districts that are currently “beating the odds” and providing a truly personalized learning environment for their students.

In Personalizing 21st Century Education, the authors outline key components of a personalized learning system, including:

  • state-of-the-art curriculum
  • balanced and authentic assessment
  • integrated and student-focused technology
  • rigorous and engaging instruction
  • personalized approaches to learning
  • addressing the needs of diverse student populations, including English Language Learners, special needs students, socio-economically disadvantaged, and transient/highly mobile learners
  • effective and sustained social and psychological services
  • active parent and community involvement
  • creative and productive cross-institutional partnerships

For leaders, teachers, and other stakeholders, Personalizing 21st Century Education presents a vision for an individualized educational system that transcends current factory models and prepares students to be competitive in tomorrow’s global economy.

About the Authors:

DANIEL A. DOMENECH, Ph.D., (Alexandria, VA) is Executive Director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Domenech has more than 40 years of experience in public education, including 27 years in the superintendency. For seven years Domenech served as superintendent of the Fairfax County, Va., Public Schools, the 12th largest school system in the U.S. with 170,000 students. He serves on numerous boards including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

MORTON SHERMAN, Ed.D., (Alexandria, VA) is Associate Executive Director of AASA. With 40 years of experience in public education, Sherman has served as a school superintendent for 25 years. Most recently he was superintendent of Alexandria, Va., Public Schools. He has published over 300 articles, many with a focus on mental health issues and on first amendment implications in schools.

JOHN L. BROWN, Ph.D., (Alexandria, VA) is Executive Director of Curriculum Services and Design for the Alexandria, Va., Public Schools. Previously he worked as an educational consultant for ASCD, serving in the national training cadres for Understanding by Design and What Works in Schools. He has developed numerous professional development online courses.

Personalizing 21st Century Education is now available for purchase online and at retailers nationwide in both print and all e-book formats. For a full list of retailers, visit


Personalizing 21st Century Education:

A Framework for Student Success

By Dan Domenech, Morton Sherman, John L. Brown

Pub Date: March 2016, Jossey-Bass, a Wiley brand

ISBN: 978-1-119-08077-0 / 256 pages / $29.95, Paper