Blackburn and Powell on Individualised Instruction

INDIVIDUALIZED SCHOOLS AND CLASSROOMS

NONINDIVIDUALIZED SCHOOLS AND CLASSROOMS

Require all students to be exposed to the same subject areas

Provide choice and decision making by students in courses and other educational experiences in schools

Assume that all students should be presented materials for learning at the same time

Arrange for students to have encounters with learning materials at times appropriate for them

Have set times when students are to complete learning tasks

Enable students, with teacher assistance, to pace their own learning

Stress a single learning activity at a given time for all students

Offer learning activity alternatives related to differences among students

Require all students to achieve the same objectives

Select and develop objectives for and with students based upon assessment and diagnostic data about students

Schedule student’s total time during the school day

Provide more flexibility in scheduling so that students have some choice in the way their time is spent

Have rigid time schedules during the day for organizing instruction, with everyone spending the same amount of time in a given course

Have alternative time arrangements in the forms of block-of-time and modular scheduling

Use singular modes of instruction

Capitalize upon several instructional modes, including learning packages, learning centers, contracts, independent study, group interaction, media

Give all (most) instruction in large group settings

Base group size and individual study and exploration upon instructional purposes to be served

Evaluate student achievement using a single method, with little or no student involvement in evaluation

Utilize several sources for evaluative purposes and involve students in evaluation according to their abilities to participate

Promote little or no teacher involvement in curriculum and instruction decision making

Maximize teacher involvement in and responsibility for curriculum and instruction decision making

Have little student participation in curriculum and instruction matters

Increasingly involve students in curriculum and instruction planning according to their abilities to participate

View the school setting as the learning center

Perceive the community as a learning center with the school being only one component of the learning environment

Use a limited amount of learning resources and media

Collect and use extensive types of learning resources within the school and community, including commercial and teacher-and student-made materials

Base instruction on what is needed by the middle, average part of any given class

Base instruction on specific, individual assessment of achievement, interest, ability in relation to the curriculum plan


Blackburn, Jack E. and W. Conrad Powell. 1976. One at a Time, All at Once: The Creative Teacher’s Guide to Individualized Instruction without Anarchy. Glenview IL: Scott, Foresman and Company, p.3.


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