Tuesday, November 06, 2012

personalized learning vs. classroom instruction...

I am still working on my presentation for the ISACS conference and my thoughts have returned to the difference between personalized instruction vs. classroom learning. Individual instruction was one of the guiding principles of Educational Sloyd. We learn best when we are in direct caring relationship with others. And when someone takes the time to show us directly, making certain that we understand, the learning is at a deeper level and to more memorable effect. For instance, I remember standing at the lathe for the first time, with my father's arms around me, helping to safely guide the tools as they came into contact with the wood. When my daughter learned to turn on the lathe, I stood in the place of my father, and there was the sense that generations were involved.

If you have not, in your life, received personalized instruction from someone, you may never know what you've missed. But to be engaged in a personal, individualized learning exercise, where caring is expressed is a far cry from the learning offered in most schools. Personalized learning shows that the materials are important, but even more importantly, the learner is important.

A reader suggests that other readers (and I) would be interested in MITES, the Michigan Industrial and Technological Education Society. MITES is a non-profit organization with over 400 members and volunteers who believe in the power of hands-on, relevant, and real-world learning. Reuben sent the following link on a man in Oregon who made a high school woodshop. The point of course is not that students become carpenters or plumbers, but that they find meaning in their educations. All students, including those planning to go to college and advanced degrees can benefit from learning through their hands.

Make, fix and create...

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