About the Book

Pathways to Personalization offers an innovative five-step framework to help school leaders and teacher teams design and implement blended and personalized learning initiatives based on local needs and interests. The book draws on principles of improvement science and change management, as well as work in nearly five hundred classrooms, to help educators define their own rationale for personalized learning; it guides them as they establish small pilot initiatives, determine criteria for success, evaluate their efforts, and create a path for replication and scale. Filled with activities and templates for organizing information and student feedback, the book also includes many examples of how district leaders, school principals, and teachers have successfully navigated the change process to create more student-centered classrooms.

Shifting a school or district to offer more personalized learning requires a great deal of commitment, passion, and energy, but it also demands a strategic process. Pathways to Personalization meets this need by providing a field-tested road map for educators seeking ways to meet the academic and emotional needs of all students, and to empower them to take charge of their own learning.

About the Authors


Shawn C. Rubin is chief education officer at Highlander Institute in Providence, Rhode Island. Shawn designs and manages the institute's blended and personalized learning initiatives. He is a national thought leader around coaching and consulting approaches to personalized learning and has been an integral driver of personalized learning growth in Rhode Island. His ten years in the classroom have informed his insider's view into the challenges and limitations teachers face on a daily basis.
Shawn is the architect of the institute's Fuse program, which trains educators to become change agents for personalized learning in schools and districts looking to accelerate this work. He is the co-founder of Rhode Island's bi-monthly EdTechRI meetups, which brings educators together to share ideas about edtech products and how they can help improve learning for students.
Shawn earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and his master's in Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Shawn co-founded an international non-profit called Longitude in 2006 to support grassroots human-rights efforts in Ghana and India. He is also the co-founder and CEO of a competency assessment startup called Metryx.
Shawn is the winner of iNACOL's Outstanding Individual Contribution to Personalized Learning award for 2017. Shawn has also won MassCue's 2015 Pathfinder award and the Americorps Alums 2009 Eli Segal Entrepreneurship award.
Shawn lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his wife and two boys. He is the son of two career educators and an avid Detroit sports fan. Follow Shawn on twitter @ShawnCRubin.


Cathy Sanford is an experienced educator, education consultant, and nonprofit administrator. She has consulted as an adjunct faculty member of the Brown University Graduate School of Education, participated as a board member of Breakthrough Providence and the Rhode Island branch of the International Dyslexia Association, and currently sits on the board of trustees for Boon Philanthropy and Camp Onaway.

Currently, Cathy leads research and development efforts at the Highlander Institute. She coordinates several initiatives across the institute's portfolio and supports the creation of frameworks, tools, and project plans that align with the overall mission and vision of the organization. Cathy is the also the lead writer on white papers, project proposals, and grants.

Before her move to the institute, Cathy supported the launch of the Highlander Charter School, a preK-12 urban school that specializes in supporting the unique learning needs of students. Prior to joining the Highlander family, Cathy co-directed Breakthrough Providence, a nonprofit committed to creating a pathway to college for academically motivated middle school students in Providence public schools and to encouraging talented secondary and college students to pursue careers in education. Cathy also spent seven years in the classroom teaching math.

Cathy holds a bachelor's in psychology from the University of Virginia and a master's in education policy analysis from Stanford University. She resides in southeastern Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. Cathy is an outdoor enthusiast and can often be found on a paddleboard, cross-country skis, or somewhere in the woods when she is not working or attending youth sporting events. Follow Cathy on Twitter @csanford42