Personalized learning (PL) runs the gamut of contemporary educational perspectives. In this respect educators and students relate such phenomenon to the needs of contemporary time. Living in the post-industrial society with the information as the most valuable product, people cannot use obsolete methods but the newest ones. The state-of-the-art trend in education is concerned, as strange as it may seem, with personalized learning. Its approach is far-reaching today. More and more learners in civilized high-tech societies cannot but use PL, as a prerogative trend in identifying something new. Up-and-coming students of today do not feel any problem in studying on the personalised basis. A somewhat “isolation” is nothing for personalized learners. Thus, the purpose of the paper is to identify the peculiarities of PL in terms of the international discourse and its usability for contemporary learners and educators in the UK and in Australia. To expand this aim, it is better to ensure that several questions are clear to an observer. Thereupon, it is applicable to show these issues off:
1) What is PL?
2) How does it relate to Maslow’s theory of needs?
3) What peculiarities of this form of education in the UK and in Australia?
4) What are the advantages and limitations of PL?
5) Why is PL significant for all that?
6) What are the future implications of PL?
These draft questions lead the discussion in the paper to more critically well-crafted assumptions and claims.
PL in focus
Heller et al. (2006, p. 1) give a definition that “personalised learning aims at tailoring the teaching to individual need, interest and aptitude so as to ensure that every learner achieves and reaches the highest standards possible.” Hence, PL is the way students can have additional knowledge and educational background by means of learning individually. Such a frontal way of educating students gains more popularity today.
Ally (2004) focuses on the idea that personalised learning in contemporary time can be inferred by stating the culturally-historical feature of educational system throughout years. Thus, it is no surprise that the UK government as many countries worldwide points out the primordial significance of PL to support governmentally the higher standards of education. This viewpoint is at a focus of customized learning. Learning materials and instructional design principles should spark interest among the officials. Informational world needs more efforts from people to recognize, accumulate, and, finally, use information in practice.
Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs
In accordance with the Maslow’s theory of five main needs PL fits each of them. Students are in safety due to a teacher. Psychologically, a teacher implements the most suitable methods of teaching a student based on generally accepted practice of using, for instance ICT. However, esteem is stimulated from self more than from others in PL. In the UK this is seen in how the government provides the student-centred education with more points on teacher’s performance. In this respect all students are about to be divided into those who are inclined and those who neglect the opportunity of PL (Stevenson, 2008). However, in Australia the overall attention is paid to all categories of learners despite their social and economical background.
Actualizing the deficiency needs of a child, Maslow wanted to grasp the meaning of self in the very beginning of child’s growth. In this respect he wanted to outline the need to make a child look at the inner powers of him/her so that to be able to grow intellectually. A teacher, thus, plays a role of an assistant with equally related focus on each student. Stevenson (2008, p. 41) admits: “Self-actualization and transcendence, according to Maslow, are "being" or "growth needs.” Such a speculation gives grounds to infer PL as the most perfect fit for the Maslow’s theory. Self-actualization need is seen as being on the top of the Malsow’s hierarchy followed by esteem, belongingness and love, safety, biological and physiological needs (Stevenson, 2008).
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- Vladimir Schenyatsky (Author), 2010, Personalized Learning, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/150492