We have begun the process of implementing our Coquitlam version of Personalizing Learning and truth be known many of us have been implementing Personalized practices into our teaching for a long time. Where did the original call for Personalized Learning come from?
In July, 2005, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and Secondary Heads Association held a conference in Leicester and London, England to discuss the injunction from government to make changes to current educational practice in England.
The term Personalized Learning was defined by David Miliband when he was Minister for Schools: ‘Personalized learning demands that every aspect of teaching and support is designed around a pupil’s needs…’
According to David Hargreaves, the term personalizing learning is more preferable as an educational construct. Personalizing implies a product to be delivered rather than a process or journey. Teachers have always sought to do this though they know that they do not in practice succeed in meeting every need for every student.
The plea from Government in England is for educators to meet more of the needs of more students more fully than in the past.
David Hargreaves has organized the thoughts and ideas of the conferences through nine gateways. His series of six pamphlets explains in detail the discussions and suggestions for change required to meet this request. The gateways are listed below:
• Student voice
• Assessment for learning
• Learning to learn
• New technologies
• Advice and guidance
• Mentoring and coaching
• Workforce reform
• Design and organization
The overall impact of the gateways on students can be understood as a sequence of core themes that capture or characterize the student for whom learning is being more personalized:
• Engagement of the student in learning and school
• Responsibility assumed by the student for learning
• Maturity in relationships with staff and peers
• Co-construction by students of their education and the design of teaching and learning
The case studies reported by the author illustrate how these themes constantly appear as a kind of trademark of successful personalization.
Over the next while Coquitlam will articulate its own version of Personalizing Learning and will clearly articulate the pillars we have/will continue to build as part of our district. A design Team has been struck that will continue to guide and lead us through the process of clear direction setting and approaches for district and school learning opportunities in support of our Dream. I look forward to the discussion.
For more information on the gateways and their implementation in various settings refer to Personalizing Learning, David Hargreaves, 2007 iNET (International Networking for Educational Transformation) ASCL (Association of School and College Leaders).
“In order to have a winner, the team must have a feeling of unity; every player must put the team first – ahead of personal glory.” – Paul “Bear” Bryant