A term which I recently came across when having the usual informal discussion with some colleagues is Buffet Learning. Learning may be metaphorically be compared to a restaurant. Till this day and age, as students we have been experiencing an educational system which is a la carte, i.e. a choice is made by the chef on what the restaurant goers will be eating, there is little choice; mainly the restaurant goer makes a before choice in choosing the restaurant of his liking. This might sound great as the chef would be setting a menu according to specific ingredients which to the chef’s opinion give the best tastes.
Much similarly to the parents who depending on their financial means and care for their children, will decide on which school their children will attend as they perceive quality of education according to the results that specific schools obtain or on perceptions which other parents / friends / family would pass on.
Nowadays we are seeing that a one size fits all educational system which dictates what is on the menu each day of the week might not be working. Society cannot evolve with an educational system which forms citizens which pass through at least 11 years of schooling whom do not possess the necessary competence to be active, adaptable & engaged citizens in today’s and tomorrow’s reality.
Thus wouldn’t it be great if the learner is offered a buffet, full of different blocks of learning which may be picked and chosen depending on the personal needs? Learning which is not limited to the class being followed according to ability or to the specific year being followed. Differentiated, personalised learning which truly puts each learner in the centre of the educational system rather than having learners adapt to a central educational system. This surely has its challenges and does not mean that educators work will be simplified. What is sure, is that the learner will be prepared for life, competent as a life long learner, able to adapt to today’s reality.