This sounds like excellent differentiation within your classroom setting and I would definitely see that as part of Equality and Diversity - a very important part. It can be taken further afield so that the learners, in a sense, learn how to ensure that they treat everybody with that same fairness and optimism. So subjects, projects - assingments, tasks etc could be based around the many wide and diverse aspects of human life - especially within photography - it would be a great area to introduce all manner of things and may possibly stretch some to thinking about things that they wouldn't ordinarily or for sharing thuoghts and ideas about difficult topics further. It might even hlep to add a sense of feeling or being, understanding even of [for example] the person or persons they are to photograph. In an art class it might be that instead of the usual still life collection of the fruit bowl [apple, orange and bananas] - more exotic fruits could be used - so that the countries of origin would vary and could be brought into the conversation possibly. That's just a thought that came to mind that I thought might tie in with not only art but photography [not that I am in any way a photographic expert etc]
Hope that make sense - is helpful?? But - that's how I would see Equality and Diversity - in two ways: 1. how we enable 'all' learners to access our courses - 2. How we can help them to explore the world further but within our classes.
This is such a useful suggestion and definitely makes sense! It also makes me think that I could create a short project for my students (probably for next year, as they are at a very intense stage of the course right now and they need to focus on that). I usually talk to them about these things, but I come to realise the importance of actually making learners come to conclusions themselves. Making learners think or see things from a different perspective can be achieved by directing them via an assignment to it rather than plainly tell them so, no matter how persuasive one is.
I also found very interesting Rebecca's idea about the inventions project and highlighting equality issues using games or play. I think my lessons lack that at the moment...
Very good point (it would be awfully exclusive to give teaching materials to a group of students and not to the rest!) and there some things you can do about that. First of all I think that when students start building their knowledge base and they see others producing exciting work they don't usually get demotivated, but inspired by it and they try a little harder to get to that level (that's in the beginning at least). What I do is that I give photos to the rest of the class, when they finish, which they can use to either practice at own time in the studio (they have access to facilities outside teaching time) or I ask them to think about how the lighting equipment was used to produce these effects at home and we discuss on the next lesson.
Another way could be to ask students to mix in the next lesson (all studio work is group work) so peer teaching takes place, which is also good bonding time for the students. I also ask the whole group to research work at home and bring in the results which we use on a subsequent lesson as examples of lighting. When learners choose the examples they are more keen to achieve as the results are closer to their interests and aesthetics.
Does this help? Can it be applied to your subject?
Well done you two
I think this takes discussions to a different level. It is all very well to plan for E & D in our teaching but are we making sure that it actually takes place and is making a positive effect for every learner? I certainly struggle to assess this in my larger group, but I have recently tried to make myself engage learners with more open questions (advice from my observation) to assess learning, especially for the less confident or inexperienced learners.
I would be interested to hear of more strategies to assess the effects of planning for E & D.
Q&A is something I am really struggling with at the moment. It has been suggested in my observation feedback that I need to include more open questions, as you say Chris this should draw out examples of diversity within the group and allow me to check on their learning. Having just looked at my recent communication video it is really evident that I am not doing this. I think possibly that I put too much emphasis on my own delivery pace within the session. I tend to really keep things moving and provide a lot of energy myself and in doing this I am not letting the learners take the sessions forward themselves. Possibly this could be my experience as a professional conductor not entirely matching the requirements of a teacher or facilitator. I don't know if there is a similar issue within sport for example a teams manager is leading and teaching?
Re Socratic questioning - this is something we were "trained" to do on our Teaching English as a second language course - the idea being that you guide the learners towards discovering things for themselves - I can lend you a book ("classroom management techniques" which has a chapter on eliciting) They do really enjoy the "So why have I grouped these sentences together? Where do you see a pattern? What do these have in common?" Most recently, "What's the difference in meaning between He has made 6 films/He made 6 films?" They worked it out.
Hi Simon. what format lesson is it that you are struggling to us open questioning in?
large, small, one on one?
I can completely understand how you have developed a fast paced/take charge attitude with regards to big groups. like the institute choir. I had feedback in my last observation stating that I should have at times let students sort things themselves. This was totally valid but I had to take some health and safety issues into account and needed to keep things moving to enable the students to achieve the session learning goals. The adjustments I made are things the students will start to appreciate over the next few sessions.
If you are referring to something like the voice workshop then I understand that it often takes students quite a while to learn how to listen and evaluate their own and other peoples performances constructively. a lack of analytical experience or a fear of opening themselves up to criticism can often clam students up, also pressure to speak up can make some students needlessly give unfounded positive feedback which I think can have really detrimental consequences. I think it is easy to say that students should always be guided to making their own discoveries and I understand the concept the benefits of open questioning (I use it all the time) but I feel sometimes the students have to witness the analysis information and unfolding of events through time and repetition. This seems logical to me and links very much with scaffolding. I believe most tutors demonstrate ideas and provide information to provide a framework for the student to work their own understanding within all the time but then try to eliminate these in cases of observation.
Maybe providing a positive comfortable environment in which the students feel comfortable to contribute as much or as little as they desire is providing E & D.
I might have just lost the plot here but I think I'm playing devils advocate.
(I am still trying to figure out the order of questions-answers in this massive thread that Rebecca started!)
It is an interesting question this and I have been thinking myself how to achieve a balance between giving all the information needed in a session and also encourage learners to actively engage. I do use socratic questioning and I try to make my teaching materials inclusive. I guess in your case you probably need to think about your class more from the learner's point of view. You probably need to adopt a student-centred approach rather than discipline-centred or instructor-centred. Of course that's not possible always and in reality you will have to use a combination of the three in order to run a successful course.
I hope this is helpful.
Let me know how you get on with Johari - I was thinking of doing the same, linking it in to a grammar point and using it to stimulate speaking. (people love talking about themselves, and it's something they're experts on) not just as a team building exercise.I think it would really foster understanding in my diverse group, but I am worried about it getting too personal , so I'd welcome your feedback on your experience with it.
I have exactly the same issue - 20 learners with widely differing abilities(English as a second language), in different areas. I've had good experiences with taking the same approach as you have - small group work and different activities. Or the same activity, differentiated. For example, 3 sets of spelling tests - easy to administer when you get he learners to test each other in pairs! It can get complicated...I'm glad to hear other teachers are doing the same thing!
Just got on here, so I thought I would do my bit....this is a tester as my first attempt went into cyberspace and has not landed yet by the looks of it
Chris, I've used Johari Window on lots of occasions, its an excellent tool for many reasons; it allows learners to gain a deeper understanding of themselves, it allows the learners to gain valuable insight into how others see them and also for the teacher it provides masses of information about learners needs and the group dynamic. It also serves to create group cohesion.