|Current System||Personalized Learning System|
|One size fits all||Assessment leads to individual learning plan|
|Letter grades given after assessment tests, based on the performance of everyone in the class||Students receive written assessments that that judges them against personal potential|
|All students learn at a common pace set by the teacher, which makes fast and slow students feel discouraged.||Students learn at their own pace|
|Students rely on their teachers for knowledge passed on through lectures and notes||Students are involved in knowledge acquisition through discussions and research|
|Students pursue a common syllabus||Each student pursues their preferred learning areas, according to their strengths|
|Students are dependent on teachers for instruction and knowledge||Students are responsible for their own education|
|Teachers use the same instructional methods to teach all the students regardless of the preferred learning style of each student||Teachers can vary their teaching methods to conform with the needs of individual students|
|The instructor manages the learners and makes all the major decisions related to the intended learning outcomes||The instructor directs the learner, who is then free to make decisions in relation to the intended learning outcomes|
The transition to personalized learning will not come easy because it will call for changes in the current system. Therefore, the dynamics of change will affect the transition if there are no proper plans. The three recommendations that can help ease the transition are as follows.
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First, there is a need to retrain teachers who are currently using the current system on how to use the personalized model of learning. The word “training” in this case is misleading. A more accurate word is “retooling” because all teachers have already been trained on teaching methods. However, those who have been teaching in public schools do not use personalized teaching models.
Therefore, these teachers need reassurance that the personalized teaching methods are effective for meeting the same objectives they are pursuing using the current methods. Retooling can be done in special seminars for teachers, either at school level or as a set of schools. In addition, the teachers can be allowed to observe the use of these methods in schools using personalized teaching methods.
The second recommendation is that there should be a slow transition to the new methods of teaching. There are many demands that will arise once the decision to start using personalized learning is made. For instance, personalized learning works best when the number of learners in a class does not exceed thirty.
There will be a need to employ more teachers to meet this ratio in public schools. There will also be the need to provide the infrastructure to offer personalized learning, such as more classrooms. In addition, stakeholders such as parents need to buy into the idea. Therefore, it will be very prudent to make a plan, but to proceed slowly because a sudden shift could create resistance.
The third recommendation for the transition to personalized learning is to begin implementation of components of the system immediately. For instance, schools can adopt written evaluations immediately in the place of the letter-based grading system. This change will be inexpensive because teachers are already carrying out student evaluations anyway. This idea is applicable to other elements of personalized learning that do not require a large capital outlay.
The best way to handle this would be to determine the changes required by the current system to become learner centered, and then to find out the ones that can be implemented easily. These include inexpensive changes, the ones that would take the least time to implement, and those that would attract the least resistance from stakeholders.
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