Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Differentiation & Education Essay

A few decades ago the reality of program line was precise patternd by the forerunner of preeminence which was called mixed susceptibility t for each oneing. Then people began to realise it was non middling tycoon that could be mixed and that teachers had to cope with a plethora of passings larn style, age, motivation, precedent learning and experience, gender, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, and so on. because the term mixed efficiency began to be re determined by the less smart term specialty. But what does specialisation mean exactly? specialty is an approach to teaching that attempts to envision that all students learn head, despite their many a(prenominal) differences. Catch phrases which go nearly way to capturing this design include make expose with differences.Learning for all orSuccess for all.There be a number of common mis moods about speciality. whatsoever(a) believe that it is nighthing added on to normal teaching and that it j ust requires a few discrete limited activities in the lesson. In fact, preeminence permeates everything a ingenuous teacher does and it is practically impossible to point to a discrete event that achieves it.It is not what is do often, but the way it is done that acheives eminence. For this reason eminence may not show up on a lesson plan or in the Scheme of Work. However some teachers try to show their intentions to differentiate by setting objectives in the fol smalling formatAll must.Some mayA few mightThis may help initiate teachers to think about the diversity of their learners, but having such objectives does not tackle differentiation. It is the strategies, not the objectives that achieve differentiation, and this shouldbe the focus of our interests. distinction is not new, good teachers crap always done it. However, it does chime with a new conception of the teachers role. Once we teachers taught courses, subjects and classes. But no more. Now we argon teachin g case-by-cases. Once education was a sieve. The weaker students were seived out and they left the schoolroom for the world of work, while the able students were retained for the next direct.Drop outs were p push-down stackted for, and seen not just as inevitable but as desirable. rate bluntly, the aim was to discover those who could not cope, and get rid of them.But straight off education is a ladder, and we expect every learner to climb as fast and as high as they ar able. Drop outs are seen as a wasted opportunity, for the learners, and for social club as a whole.Underpinning these conceptions of education as being a sieve or a ladder, are assumptions about the capability of learners and the nature of learning. Once learners were thought to shake a genetic disposition for learning, or not, which was measured by their IQ. This placed an upper limit on their possible achievement. Some students were thought to carry out their ceiling after which further teaching would be in vain.This is no longer thought to be the case. Experts on the brain and on learning immediately stress that everyone move learn more, if they are taught detachly, whatever they have preliminaryly acheived. A vivid sick(p)ustration of this is provided by the work of prof Reuven Feuerstien.He teaches learners with what we call moderate learning difficulties, using a very special and unusual programme involving intensive work for one minute a day every day. Four years later these learners have caught up and are demonstrate to have an average IQ. They deal live independent lives, learn normally, and are indistinguishable from average members of their societies.* unneeded to say, remnants of the ceiling model of learning shag still be found in many teachers conceptions of teaching and learning. These opinions need to be tackled. Luckily in most colleges examples can be found ofstudents who entered the college on a level 1 programme, and progressed well, eventually leaving for university.These are persuasive role models for some other learners and for teachers. Teachers can make much greater differences than they themselves realise, and we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible.(((Box)))For more information on prof Feuersteins methodsVisit the website of The International Center for the Enhancement of Learning potential http//*Howard Sharron 1996 Changing Childrens Minds Feuersteins revolution in the teaching of scholarship 3rd Ed Imaginative Minds 27 Grederick Street Hockley Birmingham B1 3HHAdey P. and Shayer M. (1994) Really altitude Standards cognitive intervention and academic achievement Routledge (((End of Box)))If every learner achieves at their maximum rate this has huge consequences for their own lives, but also for society at large. Social inclusiveness, welfare to work, and the reduction of crime, drug abuse, and even ill health all require an educated citizenship and workforce. Many of the ills in our term have a remedy in the classroom. But differentiation has economical consequences beyond that of ensuring that citizens can provide for themselves through work.Economists stress that the market is now global, and that an industrialised nation like ours cannot compete on the basis of low wages, only on the basis of the skill, knowledge, and adaptability of our workforce. Industrialists have long known that a better educated workforce is much more trainable, and so can adapt to the rapid change now facing most places of work.The Economist, a journal not noted for valuing the public services, once dedicated a whole issue to education, making the case that economies were highly dependent on skills and knowledge, and that the big global economies were now competing for their futures in their classrooms.Differentiation has a lot to offer individuals, society and the economy, so its worth getting it right.Introducing differentiationBackgroundThese activities allow you to explore what is meant by differentiation and consider some of the barriers to achieving it. Three activities are minded(p) below. These are alternatives, so please exact the most suitable for the participants you will train.The first deuce assume some knowledge of differentiation and to factors that might prevent it taking place. The third drill assumes no knowledge of the subject.Activity Snowballing a exposition of differentiation.AimsTo explore individual and group understanding of differentiation To trace perceived obstacles which may blockade differentiation in practice To identify catalysts which may stimulate differentiation in practice.ResourcesFlip map/s, post-it notes, standard pens and flip chart pens, OHP. governingThe first stage is organised as a snowball exercise commencing with each participant writing a personal definition of differentiation on a post-it note. Participants pair up and combine/ revise their definitions .Two pairs thence combine /revise their definitio ns and so on to a maximum of 8 in a group. Each group then writes their definition on a flip chart.The definitions can then be compared and discussed with mediation from the facilitator. The facilitator may wish to show some academic definitions (see the box) for further intervention/ clarification. Teachers often produce a more useful definition that those in the box. singular definitions of differentiation (3 mins)Pairs merge / develop definitions (5 mins)Pairs get together into groups of four or more and again merge / develop a common definition and write this on flip chart for discussion (10 mins)Facilitator led discussion (15 mins)The next exercise, obstacles to differentiation follows on from this activity very well.(((Box)))Some definitions for Differentiation.Teachers often come up with clearer and more useful definitions that theseDifferentiation is.. the mathematical process of identifying, with each learner, the most impelling strategies for achieving agreed targets.1( Weston 1992)Differentiation is the process whereby teachers see to it the need for progress through he curriculum by selecting appropriate teaching methods to match the individual students learning strategies, within a group situation.(Visser 1993)Differentiation should be seen as constitutive(a) to learning, not an add-on for those situations when things do not go as well as planned and problems occur. Differentiation is not about troubleshooting. It is a concept that has to be seen in an inclusive way, applying to everyone.Obstacles to DifferentiationThis follows on well from the previous activity, but can also stand alone, and requires each of the working groups to identify up to 3 major obstacles which could prevent differentiation in practice. You may want to ask them to identify one obstacle at each of the following levels in College InstitutionalSystemsOperationalEach obstacle is pen on a flip chart sheet with ample set for further comments . The groups, or the flip char t sheets, then rotate in a round robin. Each group now has some other groups list of obstacles and the proletariat is to find solutions or catalysts to overcome these obstacles.The facilitator should then take up the findings.a. Each working group identifies and writes on their flip chart up to 3 major obstacles in making differentiation happen in FE ( 5 mins)b. Groups rotate and try to identify solutions / catalysts to overcome the obstacles determine by the other group/s ( 10 mins)c. Groups move on to next flip chart and try to add to solutions / catalysts identified by the previous group ( 5 mins)d. Facilitator- led discussion and summary (10 mins) labelThis session may serve as a barometer to measure attitudes and understanding. It may identify some key organisational issues which need to be addressed in order to promote differentiation in practice.How do you cope with difference?AimsTo develop an understanding of differentiationTo treat common differentiation difficultiesT o share efficient differentiation strategiesOrganisationThe facilitator introduces the activity by describing mixed ability teaching, and then pointing out that it is not just ability that can be mixed. They establish that there are many differences amongst our students that affect their learning and so should affect our teaching. The term differentiation is explained as meaning to cope with such differences.Stage 1 Pairs exploring the meaning of differentiation? (approx 10 mintutes) In pairs, participants brainstorm the differences between students that they must cope with. mingled ability is given as one to start them off. They are given two minutes.Then the facilitator goes round from pair to pair, getting one idea from each until most ideas have been presented. There is a very myopic discussion of any difference the facilitator believes everyone might not understand. The importance of some ideas is stressed by the facilitator and extra explanation added if necessary. The fac ilitator concludes by saying that differentiation is about coping with these and other differences. Coping with difference could be a quick definition for discussion.Task 2 Small groups sharing differentiation strategies(20 minutes) In groups of 3-5 participants share ways of coping with the differences outlined in task 1 by telling their group one or two strategies that they have found to work.The facilitator takes one suggestion at a magazine from each group, gives it a name if necessary, and writes it on a flip chart or OHP. They go round the groups until most suggestions have been heard. There is a very short discussion of each method if it is necessary to ensure that everyone understands it. The facilitator can offer to type up this list of strategies. The facilitator concludes that differentiation iscoping with differencesomething we have always done,important if all learners are to pull in from our teachingcan make the difference between passing and flunk for many students , and so is the ladder to success for all. if a student passes because of effective differentiation, that will make a real difference to that students smell. They might get a job, a career, indeed a life they would not have got otherwise. Teachers touch lives for ever Teachers have important jobs and differentiation countsTutor notesYou might like to do this before you pass out the packs of materials to prevent staff reading out strategies from the pack It is important to protect the ideas in a very positive manner if they could be effective in some context If most teachers come from a equivalent curriculum area there would be some merit in typing up their suggestions.

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