by James Carbah, Training Coordinator for UNIDO and Teach2030 Ambassador
In modern classrooms, differentiation and inclusivity are promoted through teaching methods that provide equal learning opportunities for all students, regardless of their background. This doesn’t mean tailoring individual lessons for each student but instead offering a range of materials, activities, and assessments that cater to everyone. I have personally benefited from the Teach2030 programme for Teacher Professional Development, which has helped me teach diverse student populations. From sparking student interest in the subject to developing interactive and flexible lessons, this programme has also provided me with useful eLearning tools.
In any student population, you will find learners with diverse characteristics, such as academic and physical abilities, language, gender, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, and personal experiences. When discussing teaching strategies, some may try to categorize students into groups, such as referring to different learning styles, such as visual, auditory, and tactile. While these categories can help identify necessary accommodations, it’s important to remember that effective teaching strategies should cater to all students, not just a select few with specific learning abilities.
- Definition of Differentiation and inclusive
- Differentiation: When I first heard “Differentiation,” I had a negative perception. However, I now understand what the term means after participating in the Teach2030 programmes and workshops. Differentiation refers to a variety of teaching concepts and lesson adaption to instruct a diverse group of students. In education, differentiation refers to using various teaching techniques and materials to engage students’ interests and meet their learning needs. My goal for using differentiation in the classroom is for all students to master essential knowledge, concepts, and skill. This remains the same while allowing me to adapt different approaches to teaching and learning. As teachers, we can help them meet their academic expectations by using differentiation strategy.
- Inclusive: Being inclusive as a teacher can prompt us to reconsider what and how we teach and broaden the material we cover on any given topic. In my experience as a teacher, I declined two students – one female due to her religion and one male because of his physical ability – who desired to learn how to operate heavy equipment (Hydraulic excavator). I couldn’t change the school’s rules for the first student’s religion, and I needed to learn how to approach the second student, so I rejected them both. However, after taking the Teach2030 courses, I realized that I was wrong to have done so. Being inclusive in teaching has allowed me to relish teaching students with diverse backgrounds while helping them participate in learning and achieve their full potential.
- Focus on Differentiation and Inclusion: How to adapt lessons to suit the needs of all my learners.
#4 One classroom strategy to improve participation of all learners.
As a teacher, finding the right balance between introducing new content and keeping your students engaged can be challenging. Differentiation and inclusive teaching strategies are helpful tools to customize your lesson and cater to the individual learning needs of each student. To get started, check out the courses on the teach2030 platform. Below are some suggestions on how to adapt to this approach:
- Create a learning goal for all your learners
- Give students different ways to learn content.
- Create a variety of activities for your lesson.
- Offer different projects in the classroom.
- Let students work in the way that is best for them.
- Organize flexible groups in the classroom.
- Presenting topics in a problem-based format.
- Set up different stations.
- Arrange long term studies for flexible learning.
- Test students before starting a new unit.
- Evaluate you student in different ways (test, homework, classwork, class participation and final score)