H1 – Honor student diversity and development
Through Learners in Context class discussion and module content I have discovered ways in which I can better honor student diversity and development.
First, a teacher can honor student diversity and development by recognizing that environmental factors such as culture, belief, family and medical condition all play a roll into how a child develops (Pressley and McCormick 2007, page 4). Each student will have varying environmental factors affecting their learning so teachers must be sensitive in how they provide individual support. Teachers can also encourage student diversity by fostering student voice in the classroom, valuing student heritage and teaching students in how to take ownership of their learning. Implementing these practices will result in creating a positive learning environment.
Knowing Student’s Background
Second, the more teachers know about their student’s previous social and learning exposure experience the more they can support their student’s learning needs. Support may include scaffold learning, classroom aid support for English Language Learners, and/or access to resource learning centers. In order to support the diverse learning needs in the classroom teachers should also strive to provide effective instructions that include, multi-sensory learning, collaborative and individual activities, proper use of “hook’s” to keep students engaged, and media to enhance content. In addition teachers should try and make a connection with student’s parents to help increase the students support base during their educational journey. The best way a teacher can bridge the gap from home to school is to remain flexible, available and provide consistent opportunity to meet with parents.
Third, teachers need to recognize student’s self-efficacy (the belief in one’s ability). Pressley and McCormick (2007) describe four factors that influence self-efficacy, social models, opinions of others, feedback, and the “big fish in the little pond” phenomenon. My classmate Madeline pointed out that, “Out of these four factors, teachers have the most control over opinions of others and feedback. It can make a huge difference to students when they know that their teachers genuinely believe in them” (Madeline Butler, 2015 module 7). Furthermore, teachers can use verbal affirmation, learning content and individualized learning instruction to help student’s self –efficacy.
Pressley, M. & McCormick, C.B. (2007). Child and Adolescent Development for Educators. New York, NY: Guilford Press.