Individual learning is closely related to differentiated instruction. While differentiated instruction focuses on flexible grouping of children, individualized instruction emphasizes the needs of each child. Good classrooms balance both differentiated methods and individualized learning to create an engaging and stimulating learning environment.
Why is individualized instruction important?
Meeting the varied needs of children can be a daunting task for educators. It takes more planning and assessment of student progress, but the benefits far outweigh the cons. Individualized instruction prepares children to become active and effective learners, developing the skills needed to be lifelong learners in an ever-evolving world. With the varied aptitude levels of children, individualized instruction uses their differences to increase morale, retain information, and enhance engagement in learning.
Starting the Process?
There are five essential steps to creating a successful individual learning classroom:
- Setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely goals
- Goals should be challenging
- Setting goals that are dynamic and reviewed regularly
- Letting students own their progress
- Active Parent Involvement
What are some methods to individualize learning?
Teachers plan carefully and collaboratively to ensure they use meaningful data to gain insights on how individual children progress toward a goal. Shifting away from lengthy whole-group lessons to more play-based centers and inquiry-based projects allows for strategic use of current technological resources. Teachers design engaging lessons that tap into the natural curiosity of each child.
Providing opportunities for children to approach their learning in various ways offers more chances to retain information, improving morale and excitement for learning.
What are the benefits of individual learning?
Individualized learning allows students to learn at their own pace with teacher direction. They still work towards rigorous and challenging learning outcomes, but they are provided with a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning that lead to positive outcomes.