The Difference Between Differentiation And Personalized Learning

difference-between-personalized-learning-personalizationThe Difference Between Differentiation And Personalized Learning

by TeachThought Staff

The difference between differentiation, personalized learning, and the individualization of learning sometimes seems like a matter of semantics, but that could be that terms are used interchangeably when they’re actually not the same.

The biggest difference really is the starting point. Personalized learning starts with the learner first, where differentiation and individualization take something designed for masses and attempt to adapt it for individuals–a monumental task to consistently do well.

This chart from Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey clarifies some of the other differences.

1 Comment

  • Garreth Heidt says:

    Thanks for this. I spent this past weekend at Educon 2.7 at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. One of the Conversations I was part of was run by Diana Laufenberg and was on just this topic–Personalization, Individualization…differences and how Personalized learning has been coopted by many people to mean a multitude of different things, many of which have nothing to do with personalization as we, teachers, would like to think of it. Something that occurred to me and seems to be borne out by the chart Barbara and Kathleen have created is that, in a certain sense, Personalization is education “with” and “by”, not education “for” or “to” the learner.

    Of course, there’s more, but the prepositional focus seems a good start.

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