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Teaching in Diverse Classrooms

November 1, 2015

Classrooms today often have a wide mix of students with different educational backgrounds, learning styles, and teaching style preferences. I often experience this within the courses I teach, especially within the foundations course which is a prerequisite to subsequent courses. This can often lead to much frustration as the teacher tries to cater to all students’ preferences. Brookfield notes however, that although no teacher will be able to satisfy every student all the time, there are a few ways that the teacher can engage a diverse population of learners. He suggests team teaching, mixing student groups, and mixing modalities as ways to support a vast majority of your learners. I have been lucky to be able to work with a fantastic co-teacher in many situations and have had comments from students noting that they had appreciated being able to see the material presented in slightly different ways, but have also had students who preferred one of our teaching styles better and wished that person had taught the whole course. Group work can be somewhat fickle, trying to make sure that all parties are able to cooperate and hopefully split the work fairly; some students are fans of group work, whereas others would prefer to complete the work themselves. Although I try to present all material visually, auditorily, and kinesthetically, there are times when the presentation focuses more on one modality than another. As with all issues within the classroom, this does not please everyone all the time. I am however, hopeful that in most instances my efforts are appreciated and supports my students’ learning.

Brookfield, S., (2006). The Skillful Teacher: On Trust, Technique and Responsiveness in the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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Mark McGregor

PIDP 3250: Instructional Strategies

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This blog is to highlight my new adventures/challenges as I emabark on this journey of learning!

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