How we can get personalised

28th July 2006 at 01:00
I agree with John White that teachers are going to have to work out what "personalised learning" means in the classroom (TES, July 7).

Is there anything beyond the government rhetoric? Are student "consumers"

going to be presented with tempting choices in an education shopping mall?

Personalisation is partly about choice, which doesn't exist in the marketplace of KS4 - where you can opt for anything you like, as long as it is GCSE.

Alternatives are creeping in, such as specialised diplomas. However, an enormous shift in attitudes will be necessary if these are to be treated as an option for students of all abilities and not just the disengaged.

Personalisation must give learners a sense of control over their future and a sense of belonging. This can only be achieved in a school with a culture of involvement.

The most important contribution to personalisation however is the "witness to work" - a learning coach to talk about achievements and celebrate success. The more we overload the curriculum, the more likely we are to drive out such real relationships, substituting ritualised learning plans.

It is no good giving the "consumer" a voice if no one has time to listen.

Jill Cable

54 Tamworth Road

Ashby de la Zouch

Leicestershire

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