With a focus on inclusive teaching targeting learners either excelling within a subject or struggling, can students in the middle get neglected?

Tags: Inclusive, learners, teaching

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Yes I totally agree Aimee that it is a teachers task to ensure that all learners are actively involved and engaged during sessions. Students who are unwilling to participate can be holding themselves back and if this is due to shyness it is necessary for teachers to promote a safe environment for all learners.
Definitely Emma. ILPS are extremely influential in promoting inclusion for all students, particularly when the learner themselves take consideration into their own strengths and weaknesses, as you mentioned. This could push students from the middle of a group to the top end, by taking ownership of their learning. However, this can only be achieved if the teacher focuses enough time on these students.
Thanks Lucy and Tracy, group work is certainly an excellent way of ensuring learners at different levels are being given the chance to learn from their peers. It is extremely tricky Andrea, like you said for students to ask for help, particularly when they are achieving what they need to and so it would appear they do not need any support.
Definitely! When I was at school they were mainly only interested if you were gifted. Even if you were poor at a subject, you were mainly patronised or written off as just not being very good. I definitely think the kids who are in the middle suffer quite a lot, they don't get the encouragement as some teachers just assume they're generally okay and end up settling for grades that could have been even higher. Tasks need to be catered to everyone and this is why individual learning plans and tutorials are essential to make sure individuals can teach their potentials.

Hi All!

I also believe the students achieving acceptable good grades often get overlooked with regards to teachers striving to further excel their understanding and thought processes in order to achieve that bit extra which makes all the difference.  Surely Aimee's comment above, regarding trips out for the bright or the under achieving student, does not provide equal opportunities and inclusivity to all students?  Is this not, what educational authorities frequentely quote in policies, procedures and mission statements?  

I agree Lucy! Also, the education systems are driven by the saying "bums on seats", as this ultimately results in funding. In my experience recently I have discovered some students have realised this resulting in negative attitude. This is due to the college providing umpteen resist opportunities to enable the students to obtain a pass, all to keep their achievement tables looking healthy! Obviously students grades are capped to a pass only even if the quality of the work is of better standard however, surely neither attitudes towards learning from the college or the student are acceptable? Moving back towards the "middle man", such students should also be striving to better themselves, maybe a small number of these satisfactory grades are a result of this?

Hi Laura,

During my teacher training I was involved in a group discussion about this subject. Consensus opinion amongst fellow teacher/trainees whereby it was easier to set-up for middleman .. then have material to support lower levels and challenge extended learners.

The only other plausible option was to run completely separate lesson plans/aims for each level which although nice on paper, would prove very hard to do day-to-day.

Roland Baggott

Hi Ellie, this sounds like that classic school report of students in the middle that reads "doing fine but could do better" and then left there in this category until school finishes. I think students react differently to different ways of teaching some need more one on one while others are quite happy to follow a broader guiding hand. It might just be a case of motivating students to get involved in the learning.  It is something I've started to become more aware of in my PGCE as we get further in and trying to come up with strategies to cope with these different levels of learning. Sometimes I think i am just  reacting to how students have been taught or treated at school before they come into FE.

Hi Roland

Your point is very valid about not being able to form lessons plans for every single type of learner within the class, all achieving at different rates and in different stages.  I feel it would be totally impractical to be able to do this from a teachers perspective.  However, is this not want differentiation is meant to achieve within lesson plans? For example, All students will be able to ... most students will be able to... some students will be able to ... ? by the end of the lesson, to check the lesson aims and objectives were achieved?

 

Laura

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