Personalizar, un modelo para una educación de calidad en el siglo xxi. Informe Delphi de Expertos [Personalise, a model for quality education in the 21st century. Delphi Expert Report]. (Cristina Medrano Pascual)

 

Moreno, A. (2020).
Personalizar, un modelo para una educación de calidad en el siglo xxi. Informe Delphi de Expertos [Personalise, a model for quality education in the 21st century. Delphi Expert Report].
Barcelona: Impuls Educació. 77 pp.


Personalisation is an educational concept that focusses on achieving high levels of quality in education. The research under review delves into the essential and clarifying elements of personalisation in order to reach consensus about its definition. The text has four distinct sections under the titles of: “Introduction”, “Delphi panel of experts”, “Final agreement”, and “Conclusions”, which in turn are broken down into several subsections. Together with the prologue and the annexes, the specified blocks manage to structure the information and successfully
guide the reading of this report.

The work begins with an initial review of the origin of personalised education, which, although it is a central focus of 21st century education, was already a trend in the educational systems of the previous century, where figures like Dewey, Decroly, Montessori, Freire, Freinet, Faure, and García Hoz placed the student at the centre of the process. Thus, these and other authors agree that the educational context should enable all of them to develop their own talents or abilities as an unavoidable goal of quality education. It is understood, therefore, that any pedagogical proposal that presents this principle constitutes a type of education that is revealed as a profound human need within the framework of today’s society. But just as each student is different and has personal needs that personalised education should provide, the idea itself creates conflict when it comes to defining it. The perspective from which each academician defines the same concept has multiple interpretations, which led the present study to generate a way for experts to communicate with the aim of building a common consensus framework.

For this purpose, several dimensions were developed, first of all, to establish a conceptualisation of personalisation in education and to deepen its meaning within the educational context, to justify the importance of investing in it, to make a detailed list of principles or criteria as a guide and evaluation to ensure its effectiveness, to propose strategies for its implementation and, finally, to assess its future possibilities. The text sets out in detail how the necessary tasks to meet these objectives were carried out, making it easier to understand the laborious process by which a group of experts or scientific  committees reach an agreement. Before delving into this matter, it explains what a Delphi panel is and which different types can be selected according to the orientation of the study, highlighting this methodology as the only valid option for a group of professionals and academicians who meet its needs. Once the decision to make such a panel has been clarified, a thorough explanation of each of the parts of the study and how each of them was developed is provided.

Thus, in a first phase, the problem was limited to establishing the above objectives. In the second phase, the group of respondents was created, with their profile and number being determined according to selection criteria. In the third phase, the initial questionnaire from which the research objectives were to be achieved was prepared, and finally, in phase four, the results were analysed and a final report was prepared. Each of these phases is perfectly described, allowing the path to consensus to be thrashed out to favour the reader’s understanding. Six blocks or stages were set up with six objectives and various items to study and, after a long and costly analysis of the responses given by the participating experts, a final agreement was reached that allows the research to be completed in the conclusion section, a section that is designed to be one of the most prominent of the entire report.

If the primary objective was to build a common consensus framework on what was meant by personalisation of education, the text may consider this challenge as having been overcome. Within the consensus, the conclusions themselves highlight ideas that allow us to understand a little more deeply what we mean when we talk about personalised education. Personalisation means an approach to the uniqueness of each person, allowing the students to be the centre of the process and to be responsible for the promotion of their skills or their trajectory and recognition of identity. In addition, personalised learning is closely related to experience, which has its own value, which makes it especially meaningful. The model of personalised education, as noted in the book, is aimed at educating singular, autonomous, open, responsible, solidary, and resilient people, capable of exceeding themselves and persevering by themselves, emphasising the need to educate in and for freedom. This personalisation does not ignore the rest of society, but aims to train citizens capable of thinking critically and making the most of their ability to be solidary and committed to the world, because integrity will only be achieved through personal and social improvement. In implementing this model, a solid foundation that is supported by the school as a promoter of the principles established therein should be implemented so that all staff members are part of the process, as well as key elements such as educational organisation; the curriculum, to provide education about the elements that are needed in personalisation; the choice of methodologies and strategies to support it; evaluation as an integrated part of learning and its emphasis on progress and effort rather than on the outcome and, of course, highlighting the teachers’ work of connecting what happens in school and out of school, personal guidance and individualised mentoring, as well as active collaboration between school and family.

Personalised education, still under review in terms of its conceptualisation, is a major challenge for the future. This model is a window that will allow education to spread its wings toward personalisation to educate resilient and global-minded people, with a great sense of respect and care for others to preserve cultures, values and, ultimately, the planet. The text states that some divergences continue to emerge, such as what professional or academic experts contemplate, but they are all aware of the importance of contemplating the person as a whole, with all that this implies. There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but if one thing is clear, it is that this research considers the need to continue to pursue this long-awaited consensus as a challenge, with the aim of making personalised education a reality and, ultimately, becoming a consolidated and effective model of what quality education should be.

Cristina Medrano Pascual ■