Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Personalised Learning

A nice quote from Baroness Morris in the debate we mentioned yesterday:

“I would like to make mention of a primary school I visited in Birmingham just before I stood down as a Member of Parliament. The research that they were linking into was teaching every one of their children as an individual and trying to develop for them a timetable which enabled each child to learn at the time of the day which suited them best in different subject areas and different disciplines. They even went further and had a classroom that had so many different seating arrangements that the teacher was able, with any one child, to place them in a space with a style of teaching and a time that would suit them best.

“That is what personalised learning should be. Personalised learning is a great idea and one of the things that we have to develop even more. What personalised learning should be at its best is not enabling individuals to access the present curriculum and the present style of learning more effectively, but to enable us to use what we know about learning to wrap around each individual child and his or her needs so that they can achieve their potential.”

And that is exactly what Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child says education should be doing:

1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:

(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential

Something that small schools and home educators have known about for years - and that many teachers would like to happen, if only they could shed the yoke of the national curriculum


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