Sunday, April 24, 2016

Personalized? What does it mean?

"Personalized" means two totally different things.
(1)          Helping students find their own path: Discover your own talents, develop them, and use them for the benefit of all. As Picasso expressed it: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”  This is a profoundly pleasant path and results in great accomplishments.
(2)          Competency-based education (CBE): a radical and expensive innovation that replaces regular instruction with online "modules." Students take tests in order to move to the next module. It is being pushed by computer companies without consulting educators and without a proper research base.  
It is called "personalized" because (a) students can work through the modules at their own speed and take end-of-module tests only when they feel ready. Given the fact, however, that speed in working through modules is the criterion for determining student, teacher and school success, the pressure on students to work quickly will be strong. (b) it is claimed that CBE provides and gives credit for alternate ways of solving problems. The alternatives in problem-solving offered are constrained, however, by what designers of the module consider in advance to be acceptable methods. CBE appears to be the opposite of "personalized." 

1 comment:

  1. Computers will not be as flexible and creative as a human teacher to deal individual differences.