Personalization v Differentiation v Individualization: A rose is a rose is a rose until it’s not.


In meetings and hallway chats over the past several week we’ve been talking about the need to come to terms on, well, terms in education. So I like this effort by Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey. Essentially, they’ve defined personalized learning as student-centred learning and differentiated and individualized learning as teacher-centred. I’m not sure I agree, but since Bray and McClaskey got there first they get to call the shot. Bray’s earlier post gives a bit more explanation of the differences

Regardless of any personal questions about definitions, however, the personalization of learning makes me anxious. Like much of contemporary edcuation (including the other models presented here,) it derives from a focus on issues, not fundamental questions about purpose of education. It threatens to slide into self-indulgence at any moment. If we can remember that Bray’s models are means to ends then we’ll be OK. Otherwise, we’re in trouble when the mean become ends in themselves.



One Comment

  1. Reply
    Shauna Ullman January 29, 2012

    I’ll never understand the need for some educators to make things so black and white. To me, like a good “black and white” photograph, it’s all about the shades of gray. My mantra has always been: all good things in moderation. Good teachers mix it up!

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