Teaching and Learning Will Be: Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory


NOVEMBER 19, 2008

Teaching and Learning Will Be: Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory

What does the future of the U.S. Health System, the human genome, Wired Magazine, and Leroy Hood have to do with education? Into the Education Innovation blender they go…

In my previous post (The Smart List- (Education Didn’t Make The List) Wired Magazine’s The Smart Listincluded Leroy Hood; a 69-year-old biotechnologist proposed shifting the United States health system around the human genome. DNA sequencing will soon be a low cost test that can be used to predict which diseases a person is likely to get.

Hood proposes that genome and DNA sequencing be the basis of a new health care system centered on thefour Ps. What are the fours Ps and what do they have to do with education you ask? Let me explain.

The four Ps: Predictive, Preventive, Personalized, and Participatory.


In health care this means using genome sequencing and blood tests, a doctor will be able to predict a patients likelihood of getting certain diseases.

Education too should be predictive. Assessments should be given early and frequent as a students brain develops to identify and predict the likelihood of developing certain learning disabilities and problems. Following a Response To Intervention like model, students identified to likely develop learning disabilities could be given the support they need at an early age. Predictive testing and assessments can get students the resources they need at an early age.


In health care this means using an individual risk profile to start therapies in advance to cut the likelihood of illness.

In education, preventive means using individual assessment profiles to identify the best strategies, methods, programs, and resources that should be directed at a student early on to interdict learning problems and disabilities at an early age. The prevention will be customized to the individual learner’s needs.


In health care this means using millions of data points to create drug therapies that are suited to each genome, eliminating the “trial and error” approach of doctors today.

In education, personalized assessment profiles could be used to customize learning experiences to maximize the education experience for each student. In addition to using the assessment profiles for learning disabilities or problems, a system based on personalization will take into account a student’s interests, curiosity, brain, personality, behavior, family, economic situation, and a multitude of other factors. These can be used to create a personalized educational experience, the type of experience the Open Model of Educationcan provide.


In health care this means people become involved in their own health care by treating the symptoms and by learning about their own predisposition.

In education this means changing the focus for teaching to learning. This puts an emphasis on the learner allows the learner to have input into how they want to learn, when they want to learn, where they want to learn, whom they want to learn from, and what they want to learn. When learners participate in their own education, the Open Model of Education becomes an obviously better delivery model for teaching.

In short education need to adopt the four Ps as a basis for how to build a new education focused the best of what teachers, students, and parents have to offer each other.

Posted at 12:00 AM in 21st Century Education, Teaching


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