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Individualization of the educational process: yes or no?


Here is a great article on the topic Individualization of the educational process. What do you think about the same? Do you agree with it or not?

In the framework of the traditional learning system, all students receive the same knowledge, at the same lectures, in the same conditions as their peers. This "one size fits all" approach is justified by lowering financial and time spending. But, at the same time, educators doubt its efficiency, emphasize the fact that students' prior experience and preferences are not taken into account, pay increased attention to personalized, student-centered teaching which should bring young people' academic results to a new qualitative level.

Individualized instruction presupposes that each person's talents and interests should be taken into account, which poses a serious challenge in front of teachers. Developing personalized curricula may be complicated by the fact that an information volume, a class size, and educational demands are rather high today. But data-driven adaptive tools may come to rescue and ease the burden laying on educators.

Each innovation has pros and cons. Despite good perspectives, some people are skeptical, oppose the idea of individualized learning, claim that it will bring more losses than benefits, so it makes no sense to spend time and money transforming the educational system. Who is right: advocates or opponents? Experts from Pro-Papers have analyzed arguments of both parties and outlined them below.

Pro #1 Closing knowledge gaps


It is a usual thing when learners do not understand something and want to ask questions at lectures. But a teacher cannot satisfy everyone's needs in a 30+ class. When many people do not receive lacking information, there are usually excellent and lagging students. The educator's task is to support young people struggling with challenging topics but, at the same time, not allow gifted students to feel bored and lose motivation. Studying at an individual pace allows learners to eliminate knowledge gaps, not be slowed down or hurried up by classmates, and reach full academic potential.

Con #1 Extra preparation


Many resources are necessary to implement personalized learning approaches. Without using data processing systems collecting and summarizing information on learners' educational background, teachers will have to do this work manually, spend much time and effort to analyze each student's knowledge level, talents, capabilities, and aspirations, seek ways to lead everyone to better results.
Educational institutions may face the critical shortage of workforce, need to hire more specialists, spend extra money to pay them wages, organize staff training to help educators adapt to a new teaching format.

Pro #2 Strengthening confidence


Teachers working in large classes often believe that it is enough to put a low mark or scold a student in front of classmates to force one to learn. But constant academic failure and pressure of educators doubting students' intellectual capabilities lower self-esteem, make young people less enthusiastic about learning.

Individualized instruction, concentrating on person's strengths and support in challenging situations should instill confidence, show that one can reach academic heights, and there are no unattainable goals, no skills one cannot master, provided that correct educational approaches are used. Success is built on success, and the process moves forward. Young people absorb information faster and enjoy academic activities.

Con #2 New teaching paradigm


Innovations are useful, but some people do not like them because of the need to change the way they work and think. It is challenging for a teacher to understand what role one will play in a classroom of the future. Data processing machines seem to be a threat, a competitor which may replace educators, devoid them of many privileges and teaching responsibilities they like. This fear is quite understandable because technology has already displaced many other professions.
However, most experts claim that computers will not replace live communication with a teacher. They are more likely to become helpful assistants performing routine operations and leaving room for creative work. Each learner will receive more teaching time and the opportunity to solve one's academic problems.

While an educator considers challenging topics with an individual student or a small group, other children can interact will a computer and absorb new information at their own pace. A teacher may analyze information collected by educational programs to understand who is doing well and who needs personal support. Such approach is sure to make the learning process more efficient. But teachers should be open to changes, ready to improve their qualifications and discard well-known, customary practices.

Pro #3 Greater engagement


Let's recall how lessons traditionally pass. A lecturer stands near a blackboard, explains concepts, and hopes that everyone listens to one. Students in the front row try to understand a topic, while others chat or dream about something extraneous. Then they are asked to read a textbook or perform an assignment. This format is rather boring and ineffective because teachers are not sure that they are heard, while learners do not feel that course material is important for them personally.
Lively one-on-one interaction between a teacher and students leaves no one indifferent. All participants in an educational process constantly stay involved and active. A monologue turns into a dialogue. A teacher can communicate with young people rather than instruct them, understand on what level they are academically, and what should be done to improve results.

Con #3 Restructuring a classroom


Up-front costs are rather high. Not all schools are ready to hire more teachers, invest in technological upgrading of classrooms due to the lack of funding. However, changes will bring countless benefits in the long run.


Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.

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Comments

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao20 Nov 2019 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 8

It is a very interesting article. In a vast country like India where the students are more and the facilities and infrastructure for giving good education to the needy are less, it would be a herculean task to have this individualization of the educational process. But a step towards that goal should be initiated.

Why students are showing interest in corporate schools than government schools and are ready to pay huge fees? The reason is that in private corporate colleges, a mentor is being appointed for every 10 or 15 students and he will be spending time with the individual students and try to know his doubts and see that their doubts will be clarified. They pay better attention to the students who are lagging. This type of attention is not seen in government schools.

Knowing the interests of the students and giving them special training in that field will yield good results. But in our system of education, the scope for that is less. To give better education to the students, the teacher's and student's interaction should increase and students should be able to ask their doubts and get clarified. But where is the chance for this in the present system?

Increasing the number of teachers and allotting a mentor for a group of 10 students is a step in the direction of individualisation of the education process. The group should have the students who are almost of the same standard so that it will be easy for the mentor to see that they all will be on the same frequency and will see that all of them will understand the lessons well.

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha20 Nov 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 6

With the progress of time, we have seen some radical changes in the way education is provided in the public schools. The teachers take pain to make their pupil understand the concept of the subject matter, they encourage their students to ask any doubt with which they are engrossed. Such an atmosphere is not prevalent in the government aided schools despite the fact the teachers are well paid as compared to private schools but the environment is not conducive for the further growth of the prosperous students due to lacklustre attitude of the school authorities. This type of education provided in the government schools are not acceptable to the students having many doubts in their minds and ultimately they lose interest in the concerned subject.
Private schools are a little bit innovative by including several mentors in each subject so that each group would not face difficulty in their learning process. Each student is unique in his perceptions and accordingly, his doubts too would be different. The mentors should be able to sort out the individual doubts so as to make the subject crystal clear.
The author has presented this article with a number of relevant points making the students competent and even the author has given much stress on the individualised attention for each child for strengthening his concept. The article appears interesting and needs to be implemented in the schools for the better concept of students in the related subjects.

Author: Umesh24 Nov 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 6

Individualization of the educational process appears to be a good idea but how to implement it and how to address the concerns of a particular student quickly are some points which are to be readdressed before going for such a system. The new pattern will also require the teachers to be able to impart this type of differential training or teachings to the students segregated into small groups. One idea which comes to the mind is to divide the students into a few groups where each group belongs to a different category based on the average knowledge and earlier experience of the students, then the teacher can address them group-wise assuming each group as equivalent to one student. This averaging out will help the teachers as they will not need to address each student separately as all the students in a group will be almost of the same knowledge and experience. It may take some time and some sort of entrance exam to make the groups based on the performance of the students in the said entrance exam or interview. As this will be a new process it will require verification and validation before it is rolled out on a bigger scale in other institutions.



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