At a regional tech meeting yesterday, we discussed the Personalized PD graphic below, asking ourselves and each other what percent of our staff have "personalized" their own learning. The numbers were not encouraging. (We are an amazingly honest group, very will to share our challenges and failures, as well as our successes.)
My comment during the meeting was that it is unlikely that schools will move to a personalized PD model for staff. School culture traditionally gives the organization, not the individual, responsibility for staff training. Schools have common goals for all staff and discourage independent initiatives, and therefore prescribe a standard set of skills and knowledge for all teachers. And given the overburdened schedules of most teachers, the likelihood of finding time to pursue personal learning experiences is low.
But after the meeting I reviewed Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey's excellent chart that defines personalized learning:
The de-professionalizing of teaching is already too common through mandated curriculum, teaching methods, and "best practices." Teachers are not trusted and are undervalued. And how can we expect teachers to move toward personalizing education for their own students if they themselves are not given the experience of learning in that fashion?
But perhaps the biggest reason we should move to personalized PD is that it shows we truly value teachers as human beings and unique individuals deserving of respect.
Can you think of a better reason for trying to move a mountain?
Part 1, Leading & Learning with Technology, Dec/Jan 2000-01
Part 2, Leading & Learning with Technology, Feb/Mar 2001