Myth #7 (of 12): Most I.L.P’s are focused on the “I”

“Personalized learning requires a fluid classroom environment, where students work at a pace individual to them, circulating freely between individual workstations and teams.” (kim, 2015)

Given the context of this quote, most ILP’s (Individual Learning Plans) are usually completed within the framework of formal education program objectives and therefore have little to do with the “I”. Furthermore, what if a student’s interests are outside the confines of a schools offering? Or what if a student’s interests change during the program? “When learning is about the transmission of knowledge and some skills in chunks which are tested for a standard quality, then this still looks like school as a production line.” (kitchen, 2015)

Some might say the ‘flipped’ classroom is the answer. If these same people agree with Spangler (2015) that flipped instruction personalizes education by “redirecting attention away from the teacher and putting attention on the learner and learning.” Then this is more in line with the content curator ideas of Myth #3. Like Monahan (2015) I agree that the true purpose of an individual focused course/program should focus on threshold concepts – ones that transform a student’s thinking. “According to Felder (2005) such [true] learner-centered pedagogy will ultimately be more effective than the instructor-centered pedagogy”. (kitchen, 2015)

Should not a true ILP:

– allow a student to challenge or ‘test out’ of specific modules or courses?

– take into account a students prior learning? (regardless of setting)

– have enough diverse modules/courses to keep them focused on growth?

– provide a framework that enables a student to collaborate on their assessments?

Ever wonder what an ILP would like outside of a formal education setting? Driver training (much like academia and ESL) is all about teaching to a test – basic rules of the road. But what about the practical driving part of the test? In reality, should not driving instruction and the driving test consist of a full road test in the actual family vehicle, or vehicle this person will use on a regular basis? What good is learning in, or being tested in, a small Mitsubishi when a person might spend most of their time in an SUV? Is this not just common sense?

Final Thought: Where is the common sense in having students complete an ILP within the framework of a rigid formal education setting?

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