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R5C1 Personalisation: does the curriculum resonate with the social and cultural needs of diverse learners and provide appropriate elements of choice?

There has been much discussion in England about the meaning of ‘personalised learning’....

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Andrew Pollard
5 May 2010

There has been much discussion in England about the meaning of ‘personalised learning’. The Chief Inspector explained: ‘Personalising learning means, in practical terms, focusing in a more structured way on each child’s learning in order to enhance progress, achievement and participation’ (Gilbert, 2006, p2). Her recommendation was for more responsiveness from teachers, including use of assessment for learning, pupil consultation, learning how to learn and new technologies. 

This is not, then, a throwback to ‘child-centredness’ in the sense of following pupil interests for their own sake. Rather, it proposes customisation of curriculum entitlements so that learners from diverse backgrounds and capabilities are better able to engage with them appropriately. Personalisation thus implies elements of choice. However, for both manageability and effectiveness, many of these choices are likely to be structured around common issues which arise in tackling learning difficulties or extending understanding.  

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