September 27, 2011

The Dangers of Personalization

This post was last updated on January 6th, 2020 at 05:02 pm

Watch this.

Okay, so that should make you think.

Here’s what I’m thinking. I wrote this piece for the Huffington Post last year and so you don’t’ have to read the whole thing here’s where that post relates to the video above.

Our current system and structure fights personalized learning with nearly every new policy and protocol it can generate. The system craves standardization while we desperately need customization. These competing ideals butt heads constantly and for those teachers who do believe in personalizing learning, they live in perpetual frustration……While I’m busy advocating for changes that might support an education that fuels and fosters students’ passions, I worry that we lose sight of what a liberal education is all about. They don’t know what they don’t know. Providing students with broad experiences that invites them to develop a variety of skills, understand and appreciate diverse perspectives and potentially uncover hidden talents and interests speaks to a fairly well accepted purpose of school.

Just like google and facebook, progressive education seeks to find what students are interested in and facilitate learning that acknowledges their passion. I don’t think Google or Facebook has nefarious intentions other than to make your experience “better” and to make a little money along the way.  I’m not particularly interested in arguing that point here but certainly upon first glance we’d see what they do as useful and good. The tension between feeding you and your passions and exposing you to ideas and things that you either don’t like or have never even heard of is increasing. I think the secret lies in empowering individuals and leaders to at least be aware of the dangers of being intentional of avoiding routines and comfort on occasion.

There’s really a great deal to think about here and you likely have some thoughts of your own. Enlighten me. Thank you.