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 to seven multiple intelligences, two of which have been adopted within school environments, namely linguistic intelligence relating to the ability to learn and use of verbal and written language, and logical mathematical intelligence relating to analysis of issues, grasping of quantitative information and the sciences. I implemented this pedagogy with my top set 10 class while teaching controlled assessment vocabulary. Recent UK Government policy has encouraged an educational approach that tailors support to individual needs so that ‘every child matters’. The five core inter-related aims; be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being underpinned by practice guidance and regulatory performance systems signify the importance of social, economic and environmental factors on child development. Peter Senge said “many children struggle in schools … because the way they are being taught is incompatible with the way they learn” (Capel, S. et al, 2007) hence teaching and support can be improved by encouraging school based learning to be designed around a pupil’s needs, hence Miliband’s quote above. Assessment for learning directly relates to national teacher standard 6; ‘make accurate and productive use of assessment’. Teaching uses both formative ongoing assessments and summative assessments, normally at the end of a module, scheme of work or a part of an academic year. Summative assessments usually relate to formal examinations that inform streaming and ranking, to inform accountability (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall and William, 2002). Summative assessments are often isolated from normal teaching and learning, and are often areas of which teachers have little direct control in terms of personalising for learners, for example `GSCEs’. Key formative techniques include higher order questioning that targets towards their current level; personalised comment marking, identifying clear targets for improvement, self and...
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