The Case(s) Against Personalized Learning

Benjamin Herold, Education Week, Nov 09, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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Good article summarizing the major arguments against personalized education* today (* term yet to be defined). Here are the three top arguments: first, the research doesn't show significantly improved learning outcomes; second, personalization is a type of behaviourist reductionism on a screen; and third, personalized learning is (or could be) a thinly disguised push by the education technology industry toward a massive data collection effort. I think we need a bit more substance behind each of these three arguments; the first, for example, is based solely on a single RAND study, which is hardly a comprehensive reserach outcome. And even if "critics believe that personalized learning boils down to kids working alone on software," it doesn't follow that this is actually the case. Still, there may be merit to this broad spectrum of opposition, and it shouldn't be dismissed lightly.

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