Personalized Learning: A History of the Present

Jory Brass, Tom Liam Lynch

Abstract


This article historicizes 21st century personalized learning by tracing its lineage to 20th century technologies that were considered commercial and educational failures. It explores important and often ironic links between past and present attempts to personalize learning through technology to trouble claims that personalized learning is a fundamentally new model of education that has broken free of the “industrial model” of education reform. At the same time, personalized learning illustrates how democratic governance of education has been displaced by new policy networks, datafication, and algorithmic governance. This curriculum history wears away at grand claims about personalized learning and makes tactical use of past struggles over machine-based learning to provoke more rigorous debates about learning, digital governance, and the growing influence of venture philanthropy, technology companies, and intermediary organizations in educational policy-making and curriculum development.


Keywords


personalized learning; curriculum history; education reform; educational technology; venture philanthropy; industrial model; behaviorism; learning analytics; educational privatization

Full Text:

PDF



JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

The journal is published by the Foundation for Curriculum Theory and is associated with the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice, held in the autumn of each year. JCT is indexed in The Education Index.

NOTICE: As of December 2008, the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing (Volume 24, Issue 1) and all future issues
are available freely and exclusively online to all individuals and institutions. More Information...

Contributors to the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing retain copyright to their work.

All other content: Copyright © Foundation for Curriculum Theory. All rights reserved.

ISSN: 1942-2563