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What is the meaning of personalising education?

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Irma Pianucci
24 August 2009

In the era of globalisation, education systems must keep up with the times, and governments must be involved for looking ahead into the future.  Is personalising the way to archived it?

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Personalising learning

Personalising learning is understood in different ways by managers, teachers and learners. Our analyses confirm the fractured nature of different stakeholders’ understanding of this core educational concept: while both staff and pupils may see the personalising of learning as good practice and a goal to be strived for, pupils often do not recognise staff efforts to deliver on this concept. This perceptual discontinuity can in part be explained by pupils equating personalisation with 'me time' but we also have evidence that some teachers, while accepting the personalisation agenda, are still operating a controlling model of education. However, many teachers equate personalising learning with pupil voice and choice. They also link this to the need for a curriculum that engages pupils and for many teachers this is not the National Curriculum.

© Becta 2009 Research report,  page 2 of 55 -

Irma Pianucci
17:07 on 13 September 2009

‘The logic of education systems should be reversed so that it is the system that conforms to the learner, rather than the learner to the system. This is the essence of personalisation.’

Irma Pianucci
13:33 on 15 September 2009

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Irma Pianucci
2:15pm 1 September 2009 (Edited 10:09pm 1 September 2009)

Reading the book of "Personalising education" from the OECD, in the first chaper David Miliband, Uk schools standard Minister at the moment of the conference expressed the following concepts about this subject:

He outlines 5 components of personalized to guide policy development:

1-     The need of assessment to detect student´s learning needs

2-     Learning strategies which build on individual needs

3-     Facilities curriculum choice

4-     School and class organization on student progress

5-     Personalised mean community, school and social service support to classroom progress.


He marks the importance of choice and voice on personalisation agenda.

 “It to raise standards by focusing teaching and learning on the aptitudes and interest of pupils... to ensure that every student archives the highest standard possible."



Gráinne Conole
8:45pm 1 September 2009

Hi Irma

I think these are all important aspects to consider when trying to foster an appropriate environement for supporting personalsed learning. What I would like to see some concrete examples demonstrating these in action.

Irma Pianucci
10:08pm 1 September 2009 (Edited 3:35pm 2 September 2009)

yes, that ´s why I put "I have to finish" because I was going to post my personal feeling about this.

Particularly I have seeing a primary and media school in San Luis, Argentina that implement this kind of "School and class organization on student progress" and I have the feeling that we encourage knowledge and we miss the kids maturity to be mix with students of different ages. That is what happended there.

In the case of  "Facilities curriculum choice", we have to think in the risk of having students that for his/her particular interest is very good in math, take a several math courses and any of geografy. I think that there must be a minimun curriulum that a student have to take, giving a general knowledge for his personal development. If we don´t take this consideration we will have students that doesn´t know what happend in the other site of the sea.

With respect of the last one " Personalised mean community, school and social service support to classroom progress" . I particularly feel that this point is always claim at school as the panacea but that It can´t be reach because of the same individuals involved on it. Teachers complained that parents does not participate enough, parents when go to school to find out about his/her kid, some time feel that teachers are to busy to pay them atention.  A dialogue space has to be stablish.

John Pallister
11:14am 11 September 2009

I have struggled recently to make sense out of 'personlaised learning'  and did conclude (link attached) that learners did need to have access to a 'learner facing' curriculum as well as their own aspirations if they are to take control of their own learning.

Currently trying to relate to independent learning; searching for the 'holly grail' - how to 'create' independent learners - Blogg about to hatch any day now!

Gráinne Conole
11:55am 11 September 2009

Hi John interesting angle. Don't see anything attached? Could you add as a link please? thanks!

Gráinne Conole
12:22pm 11 September 2009

Brilliant! Looks really interesting - thanks. Irma would be interested to hear your reflections on this paper.

Irma Pianucci
5:30pm 13 September 2009

John, my worry is about how we can obtain the best result on implementing a kind  of flexible learning. The e-portfolios were the first  practice toward it.

There are a lot of articles about personalisation, but not much really implemented yet. 

VLE at the university, have to be more flexible to adapt to students needs. I´m thinking how to implement a course content access depending on the students background, using  frameworks like moodle, Ilias, etc.

I´m trying to use LD to give alternative path to the knowledge they need to adquire.

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