Are you meaning LSAs (learning support assistants)? If so, I have two different groups with 2 LSAs in them, both of which keep quite a low profile, I'm not sure whether chipping in to help fill the learning gaps is within their remit. I believe their roles are to assist a particular student with particular learning support needs.
If this isn't relevant please tell me what LSPs are, as I find all the acronyms within teaching speak a little bewildering at times!
Mirrored walls could work - although I think it would freak me out to see myself from every angle when teaching (it was bad enough to watch back the video recording!). You are right though, it is an inherent problem with the IT suites. We are really trying to get them to rearrange the rooms and set them up more like 'studios' as opposed to 'classrooms' as we think this would help with not only the layout but the general association learners have to this teaching environment.
I am also new to teaching, and it has taken me a while to get my head around the teaching acronyms! I think this is a good suggestion and something that I will discuss with my course leader. The LSP's that attend the sessions are really great and I think would be prepared to a more in-depth breakdown of the activity if I asked them.
The way I include E and D within my sessions. Is when planning a session I ensure there is opportunities for group discussions. I teach photography and a group discussion could develop into almost any topic, depending on the genre of the photography we are looking at. This offers group discussions about race, equality, sexual stereotyping and political issues. When discussing any of theses topics, I ensure that myself the tutor is able to direct the discussion, but allowing learners to express their opinions without offending anyone.
I have even discovered the benefits of group work recently. In my current job role I am (one of) the man who people come to needing technical advice, and it is my job to know how to do what they need to do and it is down to me to show them how to do it, which has so far I think been a hinderance in my teaching time as I have been trying to help every individual myself with every issue the learners have had. "How do I focus this camera?" said one learner last week, and before I could jump in and show her, another student demonstrated the controls instead. Seems minor, but it was an important reminder for me of a couple of important points:
- Group work - or at least, work whereby the students are helping each other - reduces the workload of the teacher.
- Learners helping each other promotes an inclusive learning environment where all learners feel they are taking part.
- Peer-assistance between learners helps to engage them all with each other, promoting diversity.
- Learners who are assisting others will be reinforcing their own understanding of the materials being taught.
There is also the chance that a learner assisting another will provide a previously-unthought-of-by-the-teacher method of delivering the content, ie, they will show the learner a different way of doing something or thinking abotu something - a good example of pooling knowledge together to make the session inclusive.
I am glad you have discovered peer learning, in-group work. I find this a very beneficial method to use when it comes to practical workshops. I am always looking for an opportunity within sessions to promote peer learning as it is said self-actualization can be achieved by teaching others. I have also found that peer feedback is also a handy teaching tool. But this has to be monitored and I always give learners guidelines to giving feedback and high light to learners throughout the year that any feedback give must be constructive, Medal and mission is a good method for this.
I wonder if you could assist me. For my Learning Theories essay I wanted to talk about Allan Paivios Dual Coding Theory. It is something that seem completely obvious and I would class it as teaching 101 and maybe being Dyslexic makes it resonates more with me. But I'm worried that Lesley might class it as a strategy rather than a Theory. Paivio postulates that Visual and Verbal information are processed differently. Suggesting that we learn deeper meaning when learning is designed to incorporate visual and verbal stimuli. e.g. when teaching the letter D, write it within a word that inspires a strong image like Dog, Sound it as it sounds within the word and include a picture of a dog. Continue to sound it and get students to sound it as they write it them selves. Basic stuff like I said. But I think it is roots teaching when planning learning for inclusivity, diversity and equality. In a session on Stagecraft recently I designed a PowerPoint and Writing frame (Thanks Lesley) that incorporated key terminology directly related to the learning goals (Communication. Engagement, Stagecraft, Equipment/Resources, Sound Balance & areas for development). This was married with suitable mixed gender imagery. The students were asked to discuss what each term meant before performing. They then reflected on each learning goal: first personally using the writing Frame, then discussed in pairs, then discussed within the group. I think this is a same as the basic Dual Coding Theory I just expanded. I know this relates Theories including Holistic Theories and well and VARK etc. I Tied it in with Blooms Taxonomy - Stem Questions - Higher Thinking. So back to the original question. Do you think this is a valid Theory. and do you think it promotes inclusivity, diversity and equality?
Plus does anyone have any suggestions for making it more encompassing?
Dual Coding Theory sounds really intersting! I would think that you could link it to Learning Styles - Gardner's multiple intelligences - that the appraoches suggested based on this theory fit in well with helping those who have strong visual learning tendancies but especially so for dyslexics as they respond very well to these approaches [pictures, outlines and colours all staying in the short term memory for longer].
It is definitely inclusive and incorporates the core [English - reading, writing etc]
A tleast this is what I think ....
Interestingly Stuart I have just posted a topic for discussion that your comments above tie into regarding learning theories.I think that it is possible that everyone who has some experience teaching will arrive at valid observations and ideas as a result of their experience and that some of these will contain universal truths.......take for instance Allan Paivios and the Dual Coding theory.
I have for a long while told students that if they want to learn something and commit that learning to memory then they should write down what it is they need to learn and verbalise the wordage ie talk to themselves whilst doing this. I sort of knew that this would work from personal experience as this was how I was taught at junior school. I presume that when doing this that information is taken in throught the eyes and ears (obviously) and then processed by the brain and converted to output as writing. this processing over time creates new neural pathways which then become embeded. Thinks about how people learn new skills ie muscle memory and the ability to Jam along to music after obtaining your "chops" without conciously having to think about riffs etc. All of this takes place unconciously, the same as driving a car. This is all part of the learning curve that Bloom explored in his Psychomotive domain.
So putting this all together it can easily be argued that Dual Coding promotes E&D since it is at the very base of how everyone learns from a very early age........thinks Sesame Street...probably where Paivios lived.
I think it depends on the situation of the learners. I mostly assign them roles before they attempt a task to ensure equality. moreover my field notes help me to keep a track of the opportunities provided earlier to my learners.
Thanks Tina. That's put my mind to rest a little. My feeling is that this would work especially well with people with learning difficulties but still benefit everybody.
Thanks Andrew. I diffidently see the connection between this and Blooms Psychomotive domain. Simple as it may be. As you say, If your mind is already prescribed to assimilating information in this manner from childhood then why not continue to use it.
Thanks Nosheen. In the session I was referring to the student were working together on a 8 piece group performance, some of the parts had been differentiated to match their skill level and for the reflection the writing frame had been designed to how students to add as little or as much as suitable. But I definitely see the benefit of differentiating specific tasks you assign to students based on prior knowledge of skills.
I think one of the things that people lose sight of when teaching practical skill subject is that either consciously or unconsciously you are always aware of the various skill levels of your learners and naturally apply differentiation to some extent, how would you achieve a satisfactory learning outcome if you didnt. Having said that there would be teachers perhaps that dont achieve the necessary outcomes, but the acid test would be that if you are getting hitting the outcomes then you are doing it right. Unfortunately it would seem that it is very much the case that the process has become very much the focus of attention rather than the eventual goal. So irrespective of how you get there... if you get there is the important measure.
You are right that constant observation during practical sessions leads the tutor to carry out their differentiation almost unconsciously. I must say that having had comments in my observations that I need to improve on this area, I have not found it simple to break down exactly what does or doesn't work in terms of diversity.
Anyway I did want to pick up on the idea of the 'if you get there'. Of course we all have responsibilities to achieve the appropriate results set by our governing bodies and if we get there, great! However I would be interested to know if your examining body always delivers best practice in its criteria? I think that through no fault of its own criteria can sometimes be limiting and actually there is probably another level of learning that you are delivering to your learners that is just as important and maybe even more so in the working environment.
It could of course all be a load of froth!