1 The practice of allowing students to learn at their own pace and according to their own preferred learning style, and to cover those areas of the syllabus or lesson which are necessary to their learning. It is an approach which necessitates the teacher having a clear understanding of the starting point and learning needs of each student, and is part of the wider practice of differentiation. In this approach, which is widely used in the teaching of basic skills, for example, students may have their own individual action plans and learning objectives.
2 The practice of encouraging pupils to work separately on individual tasks, for example using work cards, rather than working as a group or class. This alternative meaning does not necessarily imply the practice of differentiation. See also individual learning plan; personalized learning.