The personalised learning approach takes into account each student’s needs and preferences in the classroom. A teacher knows each student’s strengths, weaknesses, preferred learning styles, behaviours and special needs. The teacher designs instructions that are student-centred and that allow them to learn at their own pace.
Although this approach requires the teacher to do a lot of work during the planning stage, it converts into success. No student is left behind and the teacher achieves the objectives of the lesson plan successfully.
Learning styles and personalised learning
Teachers can use materials and technology that relate to the four learning styles when creating a personalised learning environment:
Visual – charts, posters, maps, diagrams, photos, and videos
Auditory – music, voice recordings, videos, and speaking aloud
Read-Write – book reports, presentations, comprehension passages, and internet research
Kinesthetic – dramatisations, skits, games, and scavenger hunts
Exercises should encourage students to identify, read, listen, ask, feel, think, write, draw, build, analyse, synthesise, and evaluate topics.
They must be able to learn and express themselves in the way that suits them best. Also, those with similar learning preferences can be grouped together for projects.
Students a teacher should know about
A classroom is made up of several types of students. It is important for the teacher to know exactly who they are so as to zone in on their needs. For every type of student known in the classroom, there may be one who is the complete opposite. Knowledge of this helps to shape the instruction for a personalised learning setting even better.
A gifted student excels at every subject and prefers to learn by reading and writing. The teacher’s instruction will involve a lot of passages, poetry, essay writing and written projects.
A delayed student gets left behind in a fast paced chalk and talk setting. The instruction will have flash cards, charts, videos, music, costumes, skits, group projects, bouncing balls and hula hoops.
An attentive student listens considerately, reads and follows instructions precisely, and does assignments well. There will be games with rules such as charades, Scrabble, Pictionary, and puzzles to keep his or her attention.
A distracted student daydreams in class, sneaks a peak at his or her cell phone and acts dumbfounded when asked a question. Focus exercises such as hocus focus, text twist, word scramble, and word sleuth will be ideal.
A disciplined student follows rules, works alone and is usually in control of his or her own achievements. Group projects that present skits and games like charades and Pictionary will help this student learn team work.
An undisciplined student is disobedient, badly behaved, disruptive and out of control. Debates allow his or her opinions to be heard and make him or her feel useful.
An outspoken student has an opinion about almost anything and wants to be heard. A group presentation or play will allow this student to shine.
A quiet student hardly ever speaks or does it inaudibly, barely interacts with peers, and acts cowardly during presentations. Group work is ideal for this student to do research, planning and essay writing.