Title: What does personalised learning mean in practice? Analyse the learning needs of EAL pupils, and those of SEN pupils. Discuss how the needs you identify can be met most effectively in subject teaching.
Within this context over the past ten years’ the term ‘personalised learning’ gained political capital and could be considered as a defining feature of the UK’s educational system. (Miliband 2004)
Personalised learning – theory and practice
The Sussex report states personalised learning is ‘characterised by high levels of participation of pupils and staff in the schools, learning to learn and pupil voice’. It is a continuous progress which facilitates a ‘deeper learning’. (University of Sussex, 2007).
Personalisation is concerned with people, hence what or who is a person, their purpose, how they develop, are motivated, gain skills, form abilities and relate to others. Hence, personalised learning is not simply the acquisition of knowledge or skills but how to forge a person’s capacity and capabilities to do so. Consequently, concepts of personalised learning have reflected diverse contemporary theoretical discourses, including Piaget’s conceptualisation of cognitive development based on biological maturity and environmental experience to behavioural psychologists focus on learning through conditioning, through to Skinner and Watson’s reward and punishment.
Vgotsky explored how a person’s individual social, economic and cultural influences can determine their ‘actual’ and ‘potential’ development levels within school based learning. Howard Gardner could be considered as a paradigm shifter (Smith 1994) as he questioned the concept of intelligence based on cognitive development, and sought to demonstrate that a child may be at different stages of development at a single time, and that this is reflected in their ability to learn their maturity on different learning styles. He therefore questioned the concept of scaffolding referring
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