This one is on how a school changed to personalized learning. Follows the typical formula of such articles. First disparage the traditional model of education:
“Teachers were all feeling a little frustrated. We were craving a change,” Moola recalls. “Our school just wasn’t structured to provide the kind of higher-order thinking our students needed.”
Translation: Traditional model doesn’t require any higher-order thinking.
“Today, instead of simply memorizing facts for a test, students dive deeper into subjects that interest them. Textbooks and worksheets no longer dominate, as educators employ multiple instructional models. Smaller class sizes allow for more time for one-on-one instruction.”
Translation: Traditional model is just rote memorization. Worksheets and textbooks are bad.
“Best of all, the lifeless classroom setups are gone, and learning spaces have been reconfigured with moveable furniture and walls so that when classroom subjects overlap, teachers can combine lessons. Students rotate through these areas, which fosters a more collaborative learning space. “They can’t hide in the classrooms anymore. Every kid is involved in every lesson, answering every question,” Moola says. “
Translation: Classrooms are bad. Fixed desks are bad. Individual subjects are bad. Traditional models mean students are not involved in lessons.
Next, talk about how great personalized learning is, compared to the traditional model:
“The general idea behind personalized learning is that the fixed time, place, and curriculum of traditional classrooms is ill-suited to meet the demands of a diverse student population that has a wide range of learning needs. Many schools have leveraged sophisticated software programs that allow students to set their own pace and delve more deeply into specific interests, often in a blended learning setting, or — as the cliche goes— one that “meets them where they are.” “
Heard it before. In the 60’s it was programmed learning and “teaching machines”. Oh, and what does “diverse student population” mean? Does it mean a student body that includes those who can’t afford tutors or outside learning centers?
And what does a model of personalized learning look like?
“An individual student receives a portion of their instruction online and then is rotated through small groups, either to work independently or to collaborate with fellow students. Later, the student and the teacher meet face-to-face to address and analyze the student’s struggles or successes.
“With this model, every student is answering a minimum of ten questions on every single topic,” says Schreiber. “I know within minutes that a student doesn’t understand a particular concept. In years past, I really had no idea what their level of knowledge was until I gave them a test a couple of weeks down the line.”
“Project-based learning is integrated from the outset — not offered up as “dessert,” Moola says. As a result, students continually build skills and take ownership of their learning.”
Bottom line: Read the comments. Not many people are buying into this Zuckerberg financed vision of education.