Statement Of Purpose
The vision of Personalised Education Now is grounded upon a legitimated and funded Personalised Educational Landscape that includes:
- a focus on the uniqueness of individuals, of their learning experiences and of their many and varied learning styles
- support of education in human scale settings, including home-based education, learning centres, small schools, mini-schools, and schools-within-schools, flexi schooling and flexi-colleges
- recognition that learners themselves have the ability to make both rational and intuitive choices about their education
- the re-integration of learning, life and community
- advocacy of co-operative and democratic organisation of places of learning
- belief in the need to share national resources fairly, so that everyone has a real choice in education
- acceptance of Einstein's view that imagination is more important than knowledge in our modern and constantly changing world
- a belief in subsidiarity… learning, acting and taking responsibility to the level of which you are capable
- adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in general and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in particular - recognising current limitations on educational choice.
Personalised Education Now Maintains that people learn best:
- when they are self-motivated and are equipped with learning to learn tools
- when they take responsibility for their own lives and learning
- when they feel comfortable in their surroundings, free from coercion and fear
- when educators and learners value, trust, respect and listen to each other
- when education is seen as an active life-long process
Principles of Personalisation… Personalised Education Now have developed these principles and indices of personalisation. They represent the underpinnings of any personalised educational setting and landscape. They are the agenda for transforming our learning systems and for Personalised Learning.
Learner–managed and co-constructed learning to meet learning styles and preferences and supported by a range of others
- Evidence, from brain science, child development, from practice and common sense tells us choice, ownership and responsibility are keys to engagement and deep learning.
- Few actually learn alone – we are essentially social learners and will request a variety of support, monitoring and challenge. In this sense learning is co-created or co-constructed with others. The core issue is whether learning is invited or imposed.
- This would be facilitated by a range of professional / community / family / peer / learning ‘travel agents’, educators and co-learners.
- Learners who lead, manage and co-create their own learning draw upon a wider educational landscape, are able to choose and challenge their own preferred learning styles and develop their own ‘learning and teaching capital’. This is in turn, shared with others and develops a learning capital within family, community and society as a whole.
Shift from dependency to independence and interdependency based on the principals of subsidiarity, personal responsibility and choice
- Our dominant learning systems create dependency and are contrary what we need to develop a sustainable, adaptive, innovative and mature 21st century democracy.
- Dependency is disabling and damaging to self-development and maturity.
- Dependency exacerbates issues for different generations… young children, teenagers, and the elderly in particular. Most of these issues are social constructs rather than actual problems.
- The principal of subsidiarity is useful in determining those who are capable enough and who are able take responsibility for their learning and life regardless of any other factor like age, sex, race or disability.
- Living and working more interdependently is an advantage for family, societal and global sustainability and social cohesion.
Invitational learning institutions, contexts, settings and experiences
- Choice, ownership, responsibility are all key to engagement and deep learning. This cannot continue in a learning landscape where schooling operates an effective monopoly and compulsory role (though legally this isn’t case).
- Invitational learning is learner-driven, responsive, flexible and adaptive.
- Invitational learning is financially effective and efficient. It doesn’t incur the massive costs used to massage the ‘fall out’ and casualties of schooling. Neither is it burdened with the costs associated with those who later become disengaged from their families and communities evidenced in crime, anti-social behaviours, poor physical and mental health.
Learning from an educational landscape of opportunities within physical and virtual places and spaces
- There is currently limited recognition or use of the wider educational landscape and the massive formal / informal / professional / community learning resource (physical and virtual).
- We need to legitimize, support and fund a Personalised Educational Landscape (PEL). It would include all learning resources: human and physical, institutional and virtual to be found in current educational sectors, in homes, libraries, workplaces, community arts and adult learning programmes, our science and art museums, television and public services and individual learners… an abundant, e-enabled, life-long learning landscape of which our current institutions become just one transformed part.
- This approach removes the totality of silo and linear thinking, responding more flexibly and in an adaptive way to learner and societal needs.
- A PEL develops that is based on diversity – ‘edversity’ and not the vulnerability of current schooling monoculture models.
Re-integration of learning, life and community. Life not necessarily lived to a pre-determined linear pattern … interweaving learning with all aspects of living and community
- Lives, education and learning have been scripted into poor ‘shorthand’ called schooling.
- Institutions are organised around outdated notions of childcare, linear patterns of life, work and careers.
- Family and generational cohesion are threatened by age-stage and institutional silo thinking.
- More and more people are looking for more creative and flexible non- linear patterns of living. Provision for learning needs to respond to these agendas.
- There is limited recognition and use of the massive community learning resource. We miss the opportunity to develop family, community and societal learning capital.
- Learning and social cohesion could be developed more through action and community-based issues education.
- Schooling organisation exacerbates travel and congestion peaks, skews and limits shopping, leisure and holiday patterns.
Democratic values, organization and practice … democracy is not pre-determined and has to cultivated and developed.
- We currently pay lip service to democracy. Much of what we have is uniformed, fragmentary and tokenistic.
- If we really value democracy we need to ensure it is continuously cultivated and developed.
- Ultimately, we need to live out democratic values and organisation in our daily lives.
- Guides to these values already exist in UN Rights and Responsibilities
- Reasoned persuasion, the needs, rights and responsibilities of all need to be acknowledged.
- Young people are just as capable of understanding democratic values, organising and practising democratically.
- The ‘fall-out’, casualties of our limited democracy threaten its existence. We cannot afford disengaged citizens or we risk totalitarian regimes.
- Lack of democracy strikes at family, societal and global sustainability and cohesion.
Catalogue and natural versions of curriculum and assessment … no imposition - choice from pre existing curriculum catalogues or developing learners own natural preferences
- The current dominant approach within the schooling system is an uninvited, pre-determined, pre-packaged curricula and assessment progression breeding disengagement and superficial learning.
- We are developing over-schooled and but undereducated people.
- Many superficial accreditations are taking on a value beyond their actual worth.
- Too little learning originates from the learner and their choices, desires and dispositions.
- All sorts of curriculum are needed… pre-packaged, bespoke, natural. All have a place for differing needs and times in a learner’s journey. All can be part of a catalogue curriculum. The critical issue is that of choice.
- Our basic needs are for engaged, motivated life long learners - society cannot afford disengagement and shallow learning.
De–coupling of age–stage progressions and assessments… learning linked to readiness and the principle of real life-long learning
- The brain based, practical evidence for age–stage is not convincing.
- Age-stage thinking originates in the development of schooling. It is very different thinking from that on based learner’s needs.
- Age-stage thinking creates ‘one-size’ fits all solutions and produces underachievement, spurious notions of success and failure whilst also fuelling the ‘special needs’ industry.
- Age-stage thinking ‘infects’ both educators and learners, inhibits learning and creates institutional silos
- Age-stage thinking develops target culture fuelling disengagement from real learning.
- Age-stage thinking assumes we can capture all learning in pre-determined, pre-packaged curricular and assessment… it is continually inflexible and outdated
- Age-stage thinking develops ageist approach to living and learning and weakens social cohesion.
- ‘Readiness’ is a better guide representing motivation and commitment as much as it does notions of current capacity and future potential.