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Where exactly did personalized learning go so wrong?
For teacher and consultant Paul France, at first technology-powered personalized learning seemed like a panacea. But after three years spent at a personalized learning start-up and network of microschools, he soon realized that such corporate-driven individualized learning initiatives do more harm than good, especially among our most vulnerable students. The far-superior alternative? A human-centered pedagogy that prioritizes children over technology.
First, let’s be clear: Reclaiming Personalized Learning is not yet-another ed tech book. Instead it’s a user’s guide to restoring equity and humanity to our classrooms and schools through personalization. One part polemical, eleven parts practical, the book describes how to:
- Shape whole-class instruction, leverage small-group interactions, and nurture a student’s inner-dialogue
- Cultivate awareness within and among students, and build autonomy and authority
- Design curriculum with a flexible frame and where exactly the standards fit
- Humanize assessment and instruction, including the place of responsive teaching
- Create a sense of belonging, humanize technology integration, and effect socially just teaching and learning—all central issues in equity
The truth is this: there’s no one framework, there’s no one tool that makes learning personalized–what personalized learning companies with a vested interest in profits might tempt you to believe. It’s people who personalize learning, and people not technology must be at the center of education. The time is now for all of us teachers to reclaim personalized learning, and this all-important book is our very best resource for getting started.
"This is a compelling and critically important book for our time. With rich stories of teaching and learning Paul France considers ways to create the most positive learning experiences possible."
- JO BOALER, Nomellini & Olivier Professor of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education
"This brilliant book is a major contribution to the re-imagination of learning and teaching for the twenty-first century and should be essential reading for new and experienced teachers alike."
- TONY WAGNER, Senior Research Fellow, Learning Policy Institute
"In these troubled times, this book is more than a breath of fresh air, it is a call to action. Paul gives us an accessible and sophisticated book that explains how and why we should celebrate the humanity of every single student."
- JIM KNIGHT, Senior Partner of the Instructional Coaching Group (ICG) and Author of The Impact Cycle