I do see some good aspects of personalized learning, one of the main ones is that I think students will be forced to do more reading to learn, so the literacy rate of students should go up, as this is a national issue. Students will have more access to time in class to be able to just read, and teachers will feel like they are not doing their jobs if someone comes in and see’s an entire class just sitting and reading (I hope/think). I think that some of the subjects lend themselves to personalized learning very well, I would think that English and Math are both great places for personalized learning to start. Math is a subject where it isn’t always that difficult to teach yourself how to do certain functions. When I was in my undergrad all of the math classes that I took at Colorado State were at your own pace learning that you essentially taught yourself how to do different functions, the lab had people available to help if you needed them. English already has a lot of reading in it and allowing students some choice in the items they read is a good thing to a degree.
I think that some of the drawbacks of personalized learning are that they don’t lend themselves well to History instruction very well at the grade school level. History, in the early stages, has to be the accumulation of facts and having some historical background to be able to be able to delve deeper into topics of interest. You cant begin with WWII and fully learn about it without the background to how society got there. I also as a learner, do not care for personalized learning, I prefer to have a dynamic teacher who will lecture and give stories and examples that they think is important. I do not like to have to read 20 pages of material and then write an essay or make a diagram or some of the other options that are being proposed in the personalize learning. I think that the term “personalized learning” is becoming an undefinable term because it is essentially all teacher to a degree, it is so broad that it is nothing as said by the article.
I think that it is great to have some teachers doing personalized learning and some not, and even having students choose how they want to learn because that’s personalization also. If I want to have a teacher who does more direct instruction than I can choose that teacher in the secondary schools. I think Elementary is a bit more tricky, but I like that students could have a choice in how they are taught.
The teacher that I am mentoring with does not do personalized learning, but one of the other teachers in the school that teaches two periods of the same class does do a lot of personalized learning. She has students moving through different assignments and usually has a choice of which ones they want to do. I would bet that the students in my mentors class know a lot more about history than the students that are in the personalized learning class, so I am not sure if one is better than the other, measurement seems to be difficult in this regard.