Personalised learning

The purpose of this section is to support teachers in meeting their obligations to ensure equity of access to the Australian Curriculum for all students and to promote excellence.

The flowchart Using the Australian Curriculum to meet the learning needs of all students broadly outlines the process teachers follow in meeting their obligations and is applicable to every student across all educational settings and contexts, without exception.

Starting with learning area content that aligns with students’ chronological age enables teachers to:

  • plan dignified teaching and learning programs that are respectful of their students’ age
  • develop rigorous teaching and learning programs that will challenge and engage all students
  • ensure that all students progress through the Australian Curriculum.

Personalising the teaching and learning program enables teachers to:

  • select age-equivalent content that is meaningful and respects students’ individual needs, strengths, language proficiencies and interests
  • provide stimulating learning experiences that challenge, extend and develop the gifts and talents of all students
  • use their knowledge of students’ individual needs, strengths and interests to ensure access to the teaching and learning program.

Personalised learning may involve one or a combination of approaches in relation to curriculum, instruction and the environment. Detailed examples can be found under the Illustrations of personalised learning.

Personalised learning using the curriculum

Approaches may include:

  • drawing from learning area content at different levels along the Foundation to Year 10 sequence to personalise age-equivalent content (for example, some Year 6 students will be able to plan and conduct a specific investigation making decisions about variables, while others may take part in the same investigation but at a less complex level by exploring and answering questions)
  • drawing from and emphasising specific aspects of one or more of the general capabilities to adjust the learning focus in a particular learning area (for example, teaching targeted numeracy skills or ethical understanding through a science lesson)
  • drawing from and emphasising specific aspects of one or more of the cross-curriculum priorities to adjust the learning focus of a particular learning area (for example, providing opportunities to examine historical perspectives from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander viewpoint)
  • aligning individual learning goals with age-equivalent learning area content (for example, incorporating communication goals into a problem-solving task in a maths lesson).

In all of these examples, the integrity of the learning area content must be retained.

Personalised learning using instruction

Approaches may include:

  • scaffolding student learning through guided practice and support
  • modelling and demonstrating skills, knowledge and cognitive strategies
  • explicit and systematic instruction
  • identifying key vocabulary for explicit instruction
  • organising and connecting knowledge, skills and values to promote generalisation
  • motivating students through engagement with personal interests
  • levels of prompting
  • modelling problem solving
  • providing opportunities for the student to think aloud (verbalisation)
  • providing feedback and correction
  • using cross-curricular and naturally occurring learning opportunities to enhance individual learning goals
  • providing alternative representations of teaching and learning materials (for example, using multimedia, Braille, illustrated texts, simplified texts or captioned video)
  • providing alternative opportunities for students to represent their learning (for example, using technology and augmentative and alternative communication systems)
  • frequent cumulative review
  • providing opportunities for generalisation and maintenance
  • providing opportunities for the student to work at a faster pace (acceleration, compacting), at greater breadth (enrichment) and in more depth (extension).

Personalised learning using the environment

Approaches may include:

  • providing peer assistance (for example, using buddy systems, peer-assisted learning and peer tutoring)
  • use of support personnel
  • scheduling (for example, a sequence of events)
  • use of technology and augmentative and alternative communication systems
  • providing access to alternative equipment and furnishings
  • providing physical access to the teaching and learning environment
  • changes to buildings and classrooms.