I recently read about a pilot programme, for school children, currently underway in some New York Schools.
Time Magazine listed the programme as one of the best inventions of 2009
Arthur E Levin, of the Huffington Post writes that this programme "is a prototype for our nation's schools in the decades to come. It's a model much more powerful and potentially far-reaching than any other reform, including much-ballyhooed charter schools, to date"
It is called the 'School of One' programme, and it has the support of New York City's schools chancellor, Joel Klein.
Joel Rose, the founder of the School of One says that the intention is to “provide teachers with a powerful tool that enables them to meet the needs of each student and allows them more time to focus on the quality of instruction.”
The programme combines traditional teaching methods with cutting-edge technology and software. Virtual tutors, and other tools, are used to provide students with customised tuition that meets each student's individal needs and learning styles
It is a new approach, and it challenges the classical approach to classroom tuition, that has been in place for approximately 100 years.
The New York Times explains:
"Once the students arrive at school, they receive their individual playlists identifying the lessons they have to complete for the day, which could involve virtual tutoring online, computer worksheets or small-group lessons with a classroom teacher. Their schedules are also displayed on large television screens, akin to flight schedule displays in airports"
What I find fascinating, and exciting, about the School of One programme, is that each lesson is customised for each child. That means that each child's strengths, weaknesses and interests are accounted for.
The programme acknowledges that when it comes to schooling and education, each child is different
And that's a good thing