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Audrey Watters @audreywatters
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I'm sorry. But I have a rant about "personalized learning" npr.org/2018/11/16/657…
"Personalized learning" is not new. Know your history. It predates "Silicon Valley" and it pre-dates educational computing and it most certainly pre-dates Khan Academy and it pre-dates Sal Khan.
Even the way in which Sal Khan describes "personalized learning" -- "students move at their own pace" until they've mastered a question or topic -- is very, very old.
Educational psychologists have been building machines to do this -- supposedly to function like a tutor -- for almost 100 years.
The push to "personalize" education *with machines* has been happening for over a century thanks to educational psychology AND of course educational testing. This push is also deeply intertwined with ideas about efficiency and individualism. (& as such it is profoundly American)
Stop acting like "personalized learning" is this brand new thing just because the ed-tech salespeople and ed reformers want you to buy it. Maybe start asking why all these efforts have failed in the past -- with and without machines. Ever heard of the Dalton Plan, for example?
And good god, don't say past efforts failed because computers are so amazing today. School software sucks. People who tell you otherwise are liars.
Also: as democracy seems to be collapsing all around us, perhaps it's not such a fine time to abandoned shared intellectual spaces and shared intellectual understanding, eh? Perhaps we should be talking about more communal, democratic practices and less personalized learning?
Also: stop taking people seriously who talk about the history of school and the only book they seem to have read on the topic is one by John Taylor Gatto. Thanks in advance.
(On the other hand, keep it up. This all makes a perfect Introduction for my book)
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