What can we learn from this personalised learning which might usefully be applied to professional learning in schools? This issue we identify precisely what can be transferred from personalised learning to enhance CPD in your schoolpdf-1984029

CPD Week Info Sheet – Personalised CPD.pdf

Learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous.

Personalised learning matters
Personalised learning matters for children for a variety of reasons: as a tool for closing the attainment gap; as a way of developing the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes required of them for adult life; and to support a more ethnically and socially diverse society. When we consider personalised learning and how it might support professional learning for all staff in schools, the goals are broadly similar. There are still attainment gaps between staff which need to be closed, there are still differences in the levels of knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes between staff, and the need for a positive understanding of our culturally, ethnically and socially diverse society has arguably never been more profound.

For children, personalised learning helps to ensure that each can make progress, can achieve and can participate in school life. This is also what we want for school staff; being engaged in professional learning is crucial for overall development. Placing personalised learning at the heart of professional learning in schools is surely the easiest, most effective way of helping to ensure that success in reaching all of these goals is facilitated. Regardless of your school’s approach to professional learning – whether you are exploring the design of new learning experiences for staff, looking at ways of leading change in your school through professional learning, or simply helping an individual to be the best they can be at their job – a personalised approach can still rest at the very centre.

Personalised learning is essentially about choice and voice – so how does your school fare?

  • Context is everything… as usual! What frameworks do you have set up within your school for staff to choose a professional learning path which is suitable for them and to articulate how they can approach learning in the most effective way?
  • Are staff given the opportunity to see new or different ways of working in classrooms beyond your school?
  • Working in small teams on professional learning projects is a great way of furthering learning in a culture of mutual respect and vulnerability. Is this possible in your school?
  • To what extent do staff have choice over which direction to take and which practices to develop?
  • How integrated is the approach to professional learning in your school? Is there a blend of school-based and outside-school learning?
  • Effective personalisation in CPD for adults seems to rely on dialogue: professional conversations which help to unpick learning needs and possible learning directions. What strategies are in place in your school to help ensure that there are no blocks preventing this from happening freely and easily?

There is no ‘goal’ of personalised learning. This is about developing the kinds of supporting structures which will help to enable effective professional learning to take place in your school. To this end, our focus on personalised learning should perhaps be constant.

Find out more…
Attitude is everything, and for this reason this week’s info sheet explores ways of encouraging staff to refocus on their underlying beliefs about professional learning so that their approach is as positive and fulfilling as possible.

This e-bulletin issue was first published in February 2010

About the author: Elizabeth Holmes qualified as a teacher at the Institute of Education, London and is the author of several books specialising in the areas of professional development and teacher well-being.