The Three R's of Individualization: Reeducation, Responsibility, and Relevance


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    Keynote address presented at the Univ. of Washington-Bellevue Public Schools Institute: Implementing Individualized Instruction: Strategies For Foreign Language Leaders, Seattle, 20 June - 1 July 1972.

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    HOWARD B. ALTMAN (Ph.D., Stanford Univ.) is Assistant Professor of German at the Univ. of Washington.


ABSTRACT  An increasing number of critics of American education today point to the similarities between schools and jails. To avoid the repressive institutionalization in schools, instruction must be individualized and personalized to the needs and interests of learners. Reeducation for individualization is necessary for both teachers and students. What this entails is educating teachers to the importance of being human beings in the classroom, of viewing their students as human beings, of allowing their students freedom to learn and reeducating students to cope with the resulting classroom freedom. In the individualized classroom, the foreign language teacher bears a responsibility to facilitate student learning, an activity taking various forms one of which is conventional “teaching.” The student, too, bears a responsibility–that of progressing in his learning and allowing others to progress in theirs. To be “relevant,” teadiers must allow their students freedom to learn, guiding their lives, but never running them.