Is “Personalized Learning” having an Identity Crisis?

In article in the Alberta Teacher’s Association Magazine (Volume 91 2010-11, Number 1), writer Phil McCrae discusses the Politics of Personalization in the 21st Century.

IDENTITY CRISIS: McCrae argues that “personalized learning is not a pedagogic theory nor a coherent set of teaching approaches, but an idea that is struggling for an identity.”

“Governments and school jurisdictions around the world are pulling together a mélange of policy priorities that range from focusing on emerging technologies to increasing students’ active community engagement in learning. Just as with past educational reform efforts, personalized learning is now being represented by a complex collection of voices ranging from those who are critically informed to the misleading and myopic zealousness of those who focus on technology as the metaphor for all change in an education system.

McCrae warns that “as Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley suggest, personalized learning is often a Third Way reform effort driven by business-like customization, and deeper learning is constrained by the forces of accountability and performance.”

As such, “ultimately, we need to individually and collectively (re)define this term, and in doing so be empowered to share a vision of what knowledge and pedagogical approaches are of most worth in the 21st century.”

I absolutely agree that we need to be aware of who is defining personalized learning and what agenda they bring.  What do you think? Reactions? Whose voices are defining personalized learning?  Whose voices are being left out?