Personalised Learning: Can Governments Guarantee Diversity for Individuals?

By (Ron) Kim Keamy and Howard Nicholas.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

‘Personalised learning’ as a term has been in use for slightly less than ten years. It appears to have first been used in the USA and was subsequently expanded and deepened through work in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Personalised learning has become embedded in a wider argument for reformed public services that respond more directly to the diverse needs of individuals rather than impose uniform solutions on all people. The rationale of these principles is clear: to raise standards by focusing teaching and learning on the aptitudes and interests of pupils and by removing any barriers to learning.

The operationalisation of personalised learning is still in its embryonic stages so that there is little evidence of its overall success. Nevertheless, there is substantial evidence that many of the components of personalised learning approaches have been successful in a variety of contexts around the world.

The major challenges for governments and systems are recognised to different extents in various governments’ policy statements – some shallow; some deep. The challenge will be for governments and their departments to create a financial, professional and operational environment so that all the aspects of deeper personalised approaches can be implemented in order to avoid the dangers of simply implementing shallower and incomplete ‘cherry picking’ of ‘easy to implement’ elements. In this paper, the authors argue that unless deep views of personalised learning are implemented, hopes of attending to the diversity of all students will be a chimera.

Keywords: Policies, Public Service Reform, Diversity in Teaching and Learning, Cultural Pluralism

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.137-146. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 572.719KB).

Dr. (Ron) Kim Keamy

Lecturer & Head of Section, Faculty of Education, La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga, Victoria, Australia

Kim co-ordinates the activities of the School of Educational Studies (SES) at the Albury-Wodonga Campus of La Trobe University, having previously taught in a variety of educational settings that include primary education, physical education, drama, special education, prison education, adult education and Aboriginal education. Kim's research interests are in the area of masculinity/ies, leadership, and inclusive pedagogies (notably in the middle years of schooling). Kim's most recent research in 2006, in conjunction with Dr Howard Nicholas, was in relation to personalised learning as an emerging area of interest for the Department of Education and Training in Victoria, Australia.

Dr. Howard Nicholas

Senior Lecturer in Language Education, Faculty of Education, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia

Howard works in the areas of bilingualism and second language acquisition on the Bundoora Campus of La Trobe University. His research work has focused on second language development and policy frameworks for languages education and language teacher education. His interests include both child and adult language development. In 2006 he worked with Dr Kim Keamy on a report about personalised learning for the Department of Education and Training in Victoria, Australia.

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