Personalised education refers to initiatives undertaken to ensure that students are provided with a curriculum that is customized to their needs and interests. These programs are usually delivered through school systems or colleges. They can also be initiated at the primary and secondary schools. A lot of initiatives have been taken by various state and federal governments in this direction.
A personalised learning and education paradigm would pertain to efforts to customize education to suit the different educational needs of students. This is done to ensure that each and every student has an individual educational program that best meets his or her educational needs. By personalizing education, we do away with the need for teachers to modify a curriculum as per the instructions of a parent or the guidance counselor of the school. With personalised learning, students have the freedom to learn and pursue their whatever academic goals suit them.
A personalised learning environment facilitates independent learning and improves students’ motivation levels. It also helps to promote social and linguistic interaction. Students also get to participate in decision making. In a personalised learning environment, students get to take responsibility for their learning and grow as individuals. They also feel important and develop a sense of self-worth because of their achievements.
Most initiatives are initiated by school systems. School boards and staff members have the basic responsibility of ensuring that students are not exposed to materials that are inappropriate for them. Guidelines and instructions regarding the material to be presented in class are decided after consulting with concerned professionals such as parents, teachers, guardians and other professionals. Guidelines may be based on the age group, level of knowledge, proficiency and other factors.
Students who have difficulties with communication or the use of technology in their daily activities can benefit from personalised technology teaching. This is usually provided in the form of audio CD’s or DVDs. These CDs and DVDs contain games, exercises, activities and stories that are specially designed for students with special needs. Other aids are also available that include software that contains printable activities and games.
Several personalised education programmes are available to suit different requirements. These include career education, skills development and leadership initiatives. Care is also taken to ensure that the resources used do not conflict with the rights of the individuals involved. Parents and guardians are given adequate information about personalised education and guidelines. Students are taught personalised skills that enhance their performance at school. Also, students are encouraged to participate and work hand-in-hand with others to enhance learning.
The recent overwhelming changes have led to need for a more personalised learning approach, so it is yet to be seen whether educators will be able to address such needs.