Benefits of Personalized Education

By: Josie, Ali, Elizabeth, and Sophie


Schools should implement personalized education in order to meet the needs of each individual's unique learning style and to raise grades, GPA's, and graduation rates. By moving away from the standardized, "one-size-fits-all" systems, more people will have the opportunity to learn to their highest potential, which will, in the long run, contribute to a more educated and successful society.

Background on Learning Styles

Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence theory includes 9 different learning styles:

1) Verbal-Linguistic- taught by saying and seeing words and reading books with others

2) Mathematical-Logistic- taught through logic games and investigations

3) Musical- taught by turning lessons into lyrics, speaking rhythmically, tapping out time

4) Visual-Spatial- taught through drawings, verbal and physical imagery

5) Bodily-Kinesthetic- taught through physical activity, hands-on learning, acting out, role playing

6) Intrapersonal- taught through independent study and introspection

7) Interpersonal-taught through group activities, seminars, dialogues

8) Naturalist- taught by relating information to their surroundings

9) Existential - taught by religious values


*Some kids fit into more than one category and show strong intelligence in a combination of more than one (Lorenzi).

With personalized education, people with these unique learning styles have a better opportunity to reach their highest potential.

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Personalized education helps people with different learning styles

Example 1:

A middle school located in Little River, Kansas implemented assigned seating by learning styles and personality types. Teachers also adapted their own teaching styles to better fit the most student’s needs. The teachers were instructed to teach the students about the different learning styles and the best ways for them to be successful inside and outside the classroom. Students themselves reported having “a greater interest in school and motivation to complete homework” and when one teacher switched the seating mid-year thinking they were bored, the students immediately requested their old seats back with their similar partners (Silverman).

Example 2:

Beginning in 2006, Hillary Gardner has been promoting multiple intelligence inspired activity menus to The City University of New York's Adult Literacy Program. After introducing this personalized learning technique to instructors, she then collected results from the instructors that illustrate how these activity menus cater to each student's individual needs. These multiple intelligence activity menus provide an engaging way for students to document what they have learned, as well as allow the teachers to "create a more student-centered classroom." According to Gardner, "Introducing activity menus in class was an invitation for students to take the lead in their own learning." To meet the needs of each student's individual learning activities the teachers would bring items such as CD players, markers, colored pencils, poster paper, and additional reading materials to class. The audio learners would use CD's to better understand the topics, the spatial-visual learners would use the art supplies to create pictures or diagrams, and the linguistic learners would utilize the reading materials. In another example, once the students of one instructor became accustomed to using the activity menus, she began using them to assign homework. This resulted in students doing more homework, and even experimenting with more creative ways to complete their homework assignments. Gardner "remembers one student presentation in which a group decided to create a dance piece about industrialization. Students shared examples of traditional dances from their countries, and she was left wondering, 'What do these dances have to do with industrialization?' As the class considered that question, they began to articulate how technology had transformed indigenous music traditions in their homelands. This shows how the MI approach can help teachers reach into what students know and create a learning experience in which students and teacher can participate as equals" (Gardner).

Example 3:

In 2006, Bridgeland, Dilulio, and Burke-Morrison conducted a study of high school students indicating nearly half (47 percent) said a major reason for dropping out of high school was that classes were not interesting. Four out of five students (81 percent) said there should be more opportunities for real-world learning to keep them engaged. Reacting from the survey, this instructor employed various learning styles on a single topic to appeal to his learner’s preferences and see which student’s showed inclinations to particular intelligences. He found the results to be incredibly successful as students became more interested in class and showed greater understanding of the material (Emerick-Brown).

Personalized education can increase grades, GPAs, and graduation rates

Example 1:

In 2012, Union County Schools in North Carolina handed out 27,000 Chromebooks to students in grades 3-12. The district trained former classroom teachers to work as instructional technology facilitators. With these Chromebooks, students can take classes that aren’t offered at their home schools and can get personalized help from the instructional facilitators. “The district's graduation rate for 2013-14 reached 93 percent, compared to the state average of 84 percent rate” (Districts).

Example 2:

In Campbellsville, Kentucky, administrators from Taylor County School District noticed that many of its students were quitting high school. To deal with this, Taylor County created the Zero Percent Dropout Policy in 2009. The program identifies students that are at risk of dropping out. It then provides preventative actions based on the individual student's needs. A dropout prevention specialist visits each student at home and sets up meetings with his/her parents. The specialist also counsels the students at school; checking in on them in class, helping them schedule classes, setting four year goals for graduation, and finding employment. “The district has not had a single dropout since the program began. In 2010, the district's graduation rate was among the top 15 in the state at more than 89 percent. It rose to 100 percent for 2012-13 and 2013-14” (Districts).

Example 3:

These are the results of an “applied, non-experimental investigation of the effects of participation in the University of Maine (UMaine) Tutor Program” (Coladarci).


Tutees GPA: 2.55 Adjusted GPA: 2.76
Non-Tutees GPA: 2.64 Adjusted GPA: 2.59

Tutees GPA: 2.50 Adjusted GPA: 2.77
Non-Tutees GPA: 2.66 Adjusted GPA: 2.61


Works Cited

“Alerte Incendie Scène totalement barrée de la saison 5 de The Office.” Online video clip.

Vimeo. Vimeo, 2010. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.

Andersen, Maria H. "The world is my school: welcome to the era of personalized learning: future learning will become both more social and more personal, says an educational technology expert." The Futurist Jan.-Feb. 2011: 12+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Coladarci, Theodore, Mary Beth Willett, and Debra Allen. "Tutor program participation: effects on GPA and retention to the second year." The Learning Assistance Review 18.2 (2013): 79+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

"Districts inspire student success: 35 Districts of Distinction honored for programs that drive new levels of achievement." District Administration Nov. 2015: 36+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.

Emerick-Brown, Dylan. "Integrated curricular approaches in reaching adult students." Adult Learning24.3 (2013): 128+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.

Gardner, Hillary. "Promoting Learner Engagement Using Multiple Intelligences And Choice-Based Instruction." Adult Basic Education & Literacy Journal 5.2 (2011): 97. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Jones, Buck. "Do Multiple Learning Styles Exist or Is That Just an Excuse?"Dashe & Thomson. N.p., 16 Oct. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

"Knewton and Sesame Workshop to Offer Personalized Education Materials for Young Learners." PR Newswire 22 July 2014. Student Resources in Context. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.

Lorenzi, Natalie. "A Passion For Learning." Scholastic Parent & Child 19.1 (2011): 82. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Silverman, Fran. "Learning styles: want to have teachers reach every student? Think seeing, feeling, touching." District Administration Sept. 2006: 70+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.

Wiebe, Chris, et al. "Integration Of Strengths And Interests: Focus On The Spatial Learner." 2E: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter 49 (2011): 6. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.