In 2015, UNESCO proposed a humanistic vision of education as an essential common good of society, calling for shared responsibility between governments and all social sectors to achieve the inclusive and equitable quality education that our changing world needs.
Differentiated personalized education is a model of school organization that can facilitate the attainment of this quality education.
It makes it possible to address the differences between boys and girls, facilitating the attainment of real equal opportunities in the academic, personal, social and professional development of all students.
It is widespread in different contexts, and its effectiveness has been proven. It starts from the same worth of each person, boy or girl, and promotes respect for the dignity of each and every person, along with and collaboration and co-responsibility.
In addition to equal opportunities for each student, differentiation helps to overcome the stereotypes that have traditionally been assigned to the sexes, which have been the fulcrum of social inequality and cultural hierarchies between men and women.
The absence of pressure in the classroom helps to value the uniqueness of each person, promoting respect for the dignity of each one. Each person can be and feel free to be whatever he or she wants to be. The data show that at differentiated schools, female students feel freer to choose STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) careers, which are traditionally associated with boys. Overcoming the gender gap between men and women in these disciplines has become a social priority in order to achieve real equality.
A. Schleicher In ‘The stubborn persistence of the gender gap in education’ (2018), also stresses that pedagogical differentiation in subjects such as mathematics, languages, science and technology, at least until the age of 16, allows for special attention to students’ learning by attending to their needs and interests and improving the results of both.
These data show how personalized education, which facilitates a differentiated school organization, contributes to progress towards real equal opportunity between men and women. It is one of the education indices that is repeatedly highlighted by international organizations and by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Therefore, differentiated personalized education helps to shape citizens committed to the society in which they live. Educating in respect and tolerance, in equal treatment and opportunities, is tantamount to educating for democracy.
These values are the backbone of an institutional culture in favor of equality that is based on two pillars, which are included in the equality plan of differentiated schools:
- To educate for real equal opportunities inside and outside school.
- To educate for freedom and responsibility in the educational community and later as citizens of a changing world, promoting respectful coexistence in a plural and intercultural society.
This makes it possible to develop an educational project that works on equality in multiple areas, such as through the contents of subjects such as history, education in personal and civic values and the social sciences, in which both sexes’ co-responsibility for the humanization of all areas of society (family, work and society) Another key aspect is to ensure peaceful, constructive coexistence by learning how to resolve conflicts in a positive way, favoring appreciation and respect for others, and offering opportunities for success to everyone regardless of their qualities and talents.
From the perspective that co-education means educating for equal opportunities and the humanization of society with the full participation of both sexes, differentiated education makes it possible to achieve this objective by taking advantage of the school as a place where male and female students can develop their capabilities to their full potential and dialogue in a relaxed, responsible way on controversial issues related to gender equality, stereotypes and the social co-responsibility of men and women. Furthermore, it facilitates custom education.