EU4 The Role of Multicultural Education (4.2 Treating students equally (…
EU4 The Role of Multicultural Education
4.1 Cultural diversity and implications on education
Malaysian multicultural society
The concept of culture and multicultural education
“The spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of a social group, including art, literature, identity, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, beliefs, traditions and practices,”(UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity 2001)
concept of culture important in helping us deal with diversity
in our society BC understanding
-culture is the way of life of a group of people based on their shared beliefs, values and norms. helps us understand diversity
concept of culture as relative
---cultural values are relative; values held in high esteem in one culture may not be seen as important by another.
we should not be ethnocentric in evaluating culture different from ours. i.e crucial for us to accept cultures different from ours in order to understand other’s cultures, as well as to understand our own culture better.
(Being ethnocentric is when we evaluate a culture that is different from ours based on our own cultural values and perspectives.)
basic values, eg human rights, liberty, freedom,
(values and beliefs from home/ traits behaviours beliefs diff from macro culture
non exposure can also cause conflict
understanding and exposure to diff cultures = Multicultural Education
for teachers = expanding their repertoire of instructional strategies to encompass the various approaches children use to learn
to enable teachers to give equitable educational experience that can tap the potential of students to the highest level notwithstanding their background.
example of types of cultural conflict that stem from
An ethnic group feeling being unfairly treated by teachers or the school authority.
Misunderstandings regarding sensitive issues of one ethnic group towards another.
Stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination towards a particular ethnic group by teachers.
aspects of culture can be reflected through important institutions in the culture as well as through modes of behaviour such as: Family organisation; Language; Personal space Touching; Eye contact; Gestures; Health care beliefs; Spirituality and Religion.
significance of diversity
depicting the different identities of a cultural group, specifically of ethnic groups. These aspects of diversity need to be seen as enriching instead of a source of conflict. It is also interesting to note that these areas of diversity reflect the identity of the groups held dear to their hearts.
sensitivities regarding religious obligations have important implications.
understanding cultural gestures is important eg shaking head, pointing, eye contact, religious obligations, M-F shaking hands
not understanding the kind of cultural diversity their students bring to school.
can cause cultural conflict
analogy of culture
picture culture as an onion cut in the middle, showing the layers of culture. The core layer (at the center of the onion) is the belief system of its social group, for example, ethnic groups, which influences their value system (in the second layer) and vice versa. These beliefs and values form the norms of the society (third layer) and all these are reflected in the behaviour of the members of the social group and also seen through artefacts or objects found in their surroundings (outermost layer).
Multicultural Education (ME): definition, goals and approaches
ME is 1. an approach to teaching and learning that is based upon democratic values and beliefs, 2. and seeks to foster cultural pluralism within culturally diverse societies and an interdependent world.
--> 3. to create an equitable and just learning environment for all people in a learning community 4. to foster intellectual, social and personal development of all students to
their highest potential within that environment.
four interactive dimensions: :red_cross: :no_entry:
2. Curriculum reform.
3. The process of becoming inter-culturally competent.
1. The movement towards equity.
4. The commitment to fight prejudice and discrimination.
to foster intellectual, social and personal development of all students to
their highest potential.
ME Essential?: The premises/ assumptions
Conditions for multicultural schools
necessary conditions for schools to be multicultural.
A learning environment that encourages positive inter group contact.
Positive teacher expectations.
ME as a tool for transformation
Gorski (2010), the basic goal of ME is to transform society - 3 thrusts:
Transformation of self.
As teachers we can transform ourselves to become more multicultural by understanding and practicing the principles and approaches of ME in our everyday lives.
We need to recognise the diversity of our students and to understand their different needs.
Transformation of school and schooling.
Transformation of society.
because of the need of our society for academic excellence and equity, the need to survive in a multiethnic society and the need to strive for democratic values.
premise of ME
Diversity of identity
We live in a world where we assume several identities, and each identity should be developed to complement each other.
We have ethnic identity, national identity and global identity, which can be developed through ME.
We teach students from diverse backgrounds
Effective teaching includes taking multicultural education as an integral aspect in the teaching and learning process.
Positive student - teacher interactions
Apart from their parents, teachers are also important to the lives of students, and positive interactions with teachers provide valuable learning experience for students.
Our students need to be treated equally in our schools.
We have students from various socio-economic backgrounds, abilities and specific needs who need equal access to quality education in our education system.
ME is about creating equitable and just learning environments for all people in our schools.
definition / thrust
is about creating
equitable and just learning environments for all people in a learning community.
(with regard to student cultural diversity that exists in every population)
ME is a movement for change in the society, which critically discusses issues and practices in schools and classrooms in terms of classroom climate and teaching approaches.
encourages you as a teacher, and your students, to critically examine your school practices such as ability groupings, common system of assessment, and unequal allocation of resources.
knowledge of ME helps students acquire knowledge, skills and the right attitude to function in a plural and democratic society, develop communication skills to interact with diverse groups of people and to form a civic and moral community for the good of all.
Aspects of diversity: meaning, elements and dimensions
Meaning of diversity
= root cause of ME
Diversity refers to all the ways that individuals are unique and differ from one another.
We define diversity as ‘all aspects in which people differ'.
This is a very broad definition that is not shared by all experts in the field.
Some focus on only a few aspects of diversity, usually gender, age and ethnic or national background.
We choose the broader definition since we believe that there is indeed more to a person than just the above mentioned qualities, instead, there is a combination of many other aspects that collapse into one complete being.
We cannot fully understand people and their behaviour without taking into account these innumerable aspects of humanity.
Elements of diversity
different aspects = There are other forms of diversity that have marked implications on the teaching and learning process.
one aspect of diversity in our society = ethnicity.
Race, ethnicity, age, gender, physical ability, physical characteristics, academic ability, sexual orientation, income, education level, marital status, religious beliefs, geographic location, parental status and personality type.
This list is not exhaustive; can you think of other elements of diversity found in our society?
Dimensions of diversity
visible and n-visible ( whole group of elements)
basic and cannot be changed by the person.
sexual orientation/ ethicity/age/ physical qualities/ gender/ race
Inborn differences have an impact throughout one’s life.
They are things people know about us before we even open our mouths, because they are physically visible (except for sexual orientation).
When people feel they are being stereotyped based on primary dimension, they can be very sensitive about it.
are more easily influenced.
religious beliefs/ military experience/ marital status/ geographical location/ work background/ income/ parental status/ education
Acquired or changed throughout one’s lifetime.
These are elements we have some power to change and define who we are.
People are less sensitive about secondary dimensions.
We also have the choice of whether to disclose this information or not; we can conceal these characteristics if we want to.
have a strong influence on our values, needs, priorities, aspirations and perceptions. They influence how we see our environment and how we behave. They also have a strong influence on how others see us, and this in turn, influences how we see ourselves.
The need for ME
ME is an important aspect of our education system.
the cultural diversity existing in our society, the concept and
meaning of ME, and the elements and dimensions of diversity,
awareness must begin at an early age where education in primary schools will play the role of instilling in children what it means to live in a multicultural society/country.
-Teachers need to recognise, accommodate, and value all their students for what they represent and what they have to offer, and to be positive and proactive in this endeavour.
Raise awareness of harassment (types, manifestations, consequences etc).
Foster attitude of understanding/acceptance (cultural, ethnic, racial and religious).
Emphasis on prevention. ( of this negative attitudes)
Zero tolerance for racial, sexual, religious/ethnic harassment or violence.
The negative consequences of not including ME in the teaching and learning process
When ME is not taken as an important aspect during the teaching and learning process,
-there are several limitations to student understanding and learning of the content involved.
-Ignoring ME leads to racial and ethnic inequity and limited thinking.
-It also leads to wrong attitudes and behaviours.
4.2 Treating students equally
How does our society respond to differences?
various backgrounds that will have different needs because they belong to a particular of group, i.e. gender, exceptionality, giftedness and other at risk situations such as low academic abilities.
implications on the way members are perceived as different and thus being treated.
as individuals, these students are also specifically different in their learning styles and behaviour,
We see this person as an ‘outsider’ as opposed to us being the ‘insider’ to the group which we belong to.
‘insider’/’outsider’ phenomena as socially constructed.
the perception towards differences is built upon the belief system of our society, which we have cultivated over time.
Hence, we can suggest that society labels someone or a group of people who are different from the norms of the society as being ‘the other’, the ‘outsider’ or as the ‘marginalised’.
these differences are seen as dichotomies rather than degrees of differences
people with special needs are stereotyped as ‘helpless’; poor people as ‘lazy’; weaker student as ‘undisciplined’, ‘stubborn’, ‘disruptive’ or ‘passive’.
these responses to differences are normal and learnt socially, it needs to be rectified in order to safeguard individuals or groups of people from being marginalised merely due to the ignorance of their needs and culture.
The concept of equality of educational opportunities
United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC), --children were recognised officially as individuals who possesses the right to develop physically, socially and mentally to their fullest potentials.
the quest for equality of educational opportunities has become an important goal to ensure that every child from all types of background has equal rights to reach his/her fullest potential.
Farrell (1993) in Rosekrans (2002) offers a four level model of educational opportunity:
Survival or equal probability of completing a cycle of schooling, including primary, secondary or higher education.
Output or equal probability of learning achievement.
Access/input or equal probability of entering the school system.
Outcome, equal probability in life conditions such as income, status and power.
leading to Equality of educational opportunities has been an important focus of ME.
not just everyone gains access to education, -----> equality of educational opportunities IS NOT just receiving equal access to education
but also to attain a favourable output and outcome.
every child should be provided with a quality education in order to reach their full potential.
In order to do that, we need to understand the differences inherent among our students, who can be different not only because they belong to a certain ethnic group with a distinct culture, or to a certain gender, or exceptionality groups; they are also different individually due to their learning styles, aptitude or self-concept.
Individual and group differences and implications to teaching and learning
Gender equity VS Gender equality
Equity in education
if the meaning of equity is sameness, which refers to the same degree of treatment between girls and boys, then if teachers apply the same strategies to both genders, the tendency of students learning at their best capacity is very limited.
if equity is defined as equality which means fair treatment of girls and boys in terms of being aware of the differences in their learning styles, how they like to be treated, and such, then gender equality can be achieved.
Teachers should adapt various strategies to appeal to the students in order for them to learn as best as they can.
Teachers should use a variety of teaching styles to match the different learning styles and help students modify their approaches to learning and allow them to experience different learning styles in order to bridge the gender gap.
Teachers should also help students accept their differences and celebrate their natural strengths.
Teachers need to be aware of these and other biological factors that cause differences in learning ability in order to create a learning environment that is suitable for everyone and not favouring one gender over the other.
A properly implemented ME will result in a multicultural classroom that will thrive on these differences as a foundation for growth and development in our country.
Reducing gender stereotypes to develop a more equitable
learning environment for your students?
Taking their learning styles into consideration.
To be able to differentiate between myths and facts related to male/female biological/brain differences.
Select textbooks, readers, biographies that include contributions of both males and females.
Call on male and female students equally often.
Praise female and male students equally for high achievement, creativity, and effort.
Be equally attentive to the misbehaviour of males and females.
Teachers need to be aware of these and other biological factors that cause difference in learning ability in order to create a learning environment that is suitable for everyone and not favouring one gender over the other.
receiving fair or equal treatment in education is indeed paramount to
ensuring a bright future ahead for Malaysian youth.
Groups of Children with special education needs =====>
Children with special educational needs - attention in order for them to reach their highest potential.
The difficulty experienced could hamper learning and reduce the ability of these students to develop the normal physical, mental or cognitive, social and emotional development they need to succeed in society.
The Education (Special Education) Regulation, 1997
This act provides that students with special needs, who are educable, are eligible to attend special education.
Students with Special Education Needs (SEN) are those who experience more than the usual difficulties and problems in learning.
group of individuals with specific needs who 1. should be given closer personal attention by teachers and other care givers, 2. modifications and adaptations of the school routines and practices, 3. modifications of the general curriculum and approaches to teaching and learning.
This is to enable them to attain their optimum learning levels and development.
They are better taught when the teachers are patient enough to recognise and understand their problems or difficulties.
And this is best achieved when the teacher is trained and innovative enough to find the most appropriate methods and approaches to meet their special learning needs.
In the past, children with special educational needs were defined as only those with such obvious physical and functional impairments such as blindness, deafness, and physical handicaps, mental or intellectual retardation.
nowadays they also include those who can be described as being socially, psychologically or culturally disabled, who can be incorporated into normal schools. These are the relatively larger group of children and learners with moderate to mild forms of hearing and visual impairment; mild mental or intellectual retardation shown in generally poor, low to average performance in all school subjects; and mild physical handicaps (non- paralytic).
This group of students can be found in our normal classrooms, in our inclusive education program.
= MAINSTREAM INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
The learning disabled exhibiting specific learning problems in specific subjects or aspects of subjects while performing averagely or above average in other subjects. They may have hidden handicaps which many teachers misunderstand for laziness, truancy, and so on. These students are normally found in classrooms where academically weak students are placed, they are generally perceived to be passive or disruptive and lazy.
The intellectually superior, gifted and talented of varying types and degrees. Many teachers who misunderstand them regard them as rude, impudent, show offs and perhaps cheats.
The delicate or health impaired few who present what are termed as episodic (periodic) handicaps.
The chronically sick and hospital bound persons who cannot attend classes. They need to be reached in their homes and hospitals.
Types of Special needs
Visual impairment is the inability of a student to use vision or to do visual activities appropriately. It ranges from total and partial blindness and slight loss of vision, to forms of minor visual errors including refractive errors that can be corrected by wearing appropriate glasses.
Psychological features of Visual impairment
Their psychological features include the lack of emotional security; exhibiting behaviour such as frequent or long pauses when reading, may frequently walk up to the board to read, reading with books too close or too far from the eyes and exhibiting functional problems in varied lighting conditions.
These behaviours may irritate their teachers and other classmates, especially if they are unaware or are not sensitive to the needs of these students.
in case of mild impairment
causes of some problems faced by teachers in their inclusive classrooms with mildly visually impaired students?
They are not trained to understand the behaviour and needs of these students.
Are not aware of their learning style.
Lacking in skills in teaching strategies for the visually impaired.
Hearing-impaired students are those who have the inability or inefficient ability to hear and to use speech. ---It includes total deafness and muteness, partial deafness, being hard of hearing, and very slight hearing loss.
In our inclusive classrooms, we have those who are not totally deaf, but have some degree of hearing loss.
psychological features which teachers need to be aware of.
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Thus, teachers need to be knowledgeable and skilful in helping these students learn and feel accepted as an integral part of the classroom.
are also slow learners, and the physically handicapped, who need our special care and attention.
-It has been observed that teachers, parents and other normal children often find these students to be cumbersome; taking away the learning time of normal students.
-If these teachers, students and parents were to make an effort to understand the needs of these students and realise how they can help, they will soon see that these students enrich their lives in many ways and are not a burden at all.
Gender stereotypes differences between boys and girls, not only biologically but
GENDER AFFECTS LEARNING
stereotypes - can be defined as a belief or specific judgment about an individual’s characteristics, or simply said, as a generalisation of an individual’s characteristics.
A person develops these stereotypes when he or she is unable to obtain all the information needed to make fair judgments about other people.
stereotypes can be ++++ OR ------
even positive stereotypes are not acceptable as they are mere generalisations and are inaccurate perceptions of individual or social groups.
based on several factors which show apparent differences between males and females.
an individual trait in which women are stereotyped
as passive and males as aggressive.
a woman’s place is in the kitchen, while
a man must be a handy man.
secretaries must be women and men are always the bosses, and in terms of physical appearance, girls are expected to be small and helpless, and be dressed in frills, while boys are seen to be big and strong and to be dressed in masculine attire.
may put limits on the abilities and capabilities of
Girls are perceived to be less competitive than boys; have less technical skills, and lacking in organisational skills compared to boys, but have better linguistic skills comparatively.
Girls are also deemed to be weak in mathematics and science.
boys are said to be more analytical than girls, and are better in mathematics and science.
Example of gender myth: There is a biological basis for sex differences in math.
Related myths: There is a sex-linked math gene.
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Examples of gender stereotypes:
In a reference book for Kajian Tempatan (Local Studies), a section on The Roles and Responsibilities of Family Members: Father is the head and leader of a family, are listed as follows:
a. A father has important roles and responsibilities such as; providing a place to live, earning a living, protecting the family, making decisions, teaching and disciplining a child and providing love.
b. A mother helps the father manage household matters.
c. The mother becomes the head of the household when the father is not at home.
d. A mother roles and responsibilities include; looking after the children; keeping the house clean, preparing food, providing love and keeping the children safe.
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Overcoming this gender bias especially pertaining to the biological and social differences between boys and girls, one being genetically/socially superior over the other in certain subjects or activities?
teachers we should all:
Be aware that while there is no real evidence of a “math gene”, there is a lot of evidence that supports the idea that practice and encouragement helps improve math and science skills, or other skills, for both girls and boys.
Provide students with needed practice and encouragement.
Read “scientific” studies with critical eyes, looking for what are the facts and not what mere opinions.
Formation of Gender stereotypes - from parents and media
child’s parents are some of the first socialisation agents the child
will come into contact with.
Parents teach stereotypes through various means, in the way they dress their children, the toys they provide their children to play with, and their own attitudes and behaviours.
a majority of children’s books and television programs include gender stereotypes; women are portrayed in the household or in very stereotypically female occupations, while men are seen as independent breadwinners.
Additionally, television also conveys some strong sexual attitudes, most often portraying women as sex objects for men.
stereotyped by your gender role and unfairly treated, which resulted in you missing out on doing what you really wanted to do?
teachers who are unaware of the different learning styles of their male and female students, and instead generalising their teaching style (or treatment), thus alienating one of the genders?
achieving gender equity and redefining the relationship between females and males in all aspects, especially in school and education context.
avoid students getting unfair treatment in school and in the teaching and learning
Definition and concept of gender
Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish or differentiate between females and males, in terms of traits and attributes.
In every day terms, “sex” refers to the biological and psychological characteristics that define women and men, or simply said as female and male (sex categories).
“Gender” refers to roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that were constructed from the social environment of a woman or a man we know it as feminine and masculine (gender categories) (WHO 2012).
Differences between boys and girls: brain differences
not evidence of gender superiority or inferiority.
We must highlight and make evident that there are some things boys tend to be better at than girls, and vice versa.
Brain differences, a biological difference is best understood as a spectrum, rather than as female and male poles.
There are also “bridge brained” children, who have equal qualities of male and female characteristics; we consider their brains to be “bi-gender”.
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How brain-based differences affect boys and girls learning style?
Differences between boys and girls: Social factors
how society determines gender roles.
Ideas about how men and women should behave are formed by society, culture and tradition. As they grow up, girls and boys learn about how women and men should behave from their
parents, community, religious institutions, schools, and the media.
Gender roles are also different for people of different ages.
Gender roles vary from one society to another and change as society changes.
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Gender Schema theory
children and adolescents use gender as an organising theme to classify and understand their perceptions about the world.
is influenced by society's beliefs about female and male traits, and influences the processing of social information and self- esteem ((Woolfolk 1995).
These social constructions, however, can lead to stereotypes and myths regarding gender differences.
is essential to be well-informed in addressing their needs. As educators, we should not overlook the issue of giftedness.
Gifted students need us to be educationally equitable by providing them the necessary assistance so that they have an equal opportunity to learn and develop just like everyone else.
gifted students are not given due attention because of some misconceptions and myths regarding their giftedness
10 prevalent misconceptions/myths about giftedness:
Myth # 1: Gifted students don’t need help.
Myth # 2: The current curriculum is challenging enough for all students.
Myth # 3: Gifted students should undergo the same curriculum like everyone else.
Myth # 4: All children are gifted; we shouldn’t classify.
Myth # 5: Accelerated programs can be socially harmful to gifted students.
Myth # 6: Gifted programs are elitist; creates a status.
Myth # 7: It is impossible for an underperformer in school to be gifted.
Myth # 8: It is impossible for students with learning disabilities to be gifted.
Myth # 9: Schools already have challenging programs for gifted students.
Myth # 10: Gifted education requires abundant resources which are not available at this point of economic uncertainty.
6 types of gifted students
Type 3: ‘Underground’ learner who hides giftedness
Type 4: ‘Dropout’ estranged, indifferent learner
Type 2: ‘Challenger’ angry, resentful, challenging learner
Type 5: ‘Double labelled’ gifted learner who also has disabilities
Type 1: ‘Successful’ bright, motivated, ‘loophole finding’ learner
Type 6: ‘Autonomous’ self-directed, internal focus of control
a minority of students who are gifted and require assistance in schools that can cater to their giftedness. typically applies to the top 2% of the population, with a “qualifying IQ” of 130.
This means that statistically 1 in 50 humans are gifted, not such a rare occurrence after all!
Gifted children may become at risk students if their needs are not identified and met.
The National Association for Gifted Children, Malaysia (Permata Pintar) was set up to answer the call for another platform, apart from the Malaysian Mensa, to assist Malaysian children who are gifted.
labelled a dreamer by her teachers. In her third year, the teachers at her new school realised that she was a thinker. Gifted students like her do have problems in school and unless recognised and identified, those gifted students
will be marginalised and labelled as risk students.
difficult for parents and teachers to recognise and identify gifted students because the student may not be good at everything.
Gifted children often specialise early. Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison are geniuses in one particular field.
are “pupils who show evidence of high performances capability and exceptional potential in areas such as general intellectual ability, special academic aptitude and outstanding ability in visual and performing arts.
Such definition shall include those pupils who require educational programs or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realise their full potential” (New York State Education Department, Chapter 740 of the Laws of 1982).
theories of giftness
Gardner Theory of Multiple Intelligence --a gifted student would display exceptional
abilities in one or more of his eight Multiple Intelligences.
8 types of intelligences
Logical-mathematical entailing good reasoning ability.
our education system is giving undue focus.
Spatial involving the ability to interpret information in two or three dimensions, such as when appreciating art, constructing graphs, or reading maps.
Verbal, the ability to use language well and creatively to express oneself.
Musical, an aptitude for patterns and rhythms in music, for expressing emotion in music.
Bodily-Kinesthetic which entails motor skills and physical co-ordination, perhaps expressed through dance or sport.
Interpersonal, the ability to deal with varied social situations, to read social cues and produce effective social behaviour.
Intrapersonal that entails knowledge and awareness of one’s own strengths, weaknesses and needs, understanding of one’s own emotions and the ability to use this understanding to inform your behaviour.
Naturalist involves knowledge and awareness of the environment, sensitivity to features of the natural world.
Renzulli’s Three Ring Conceptualization of Giftedness
a gifted student would display high intellectual ability,
high creativity and high task commitment.
signs of giftedness
may display a variety of capabilities such as having more advanced vocabulary, language and reading skills, more general knowledge about the world, ability to learn more quickly, easily and independently than their peers, and have more advanced and efficient cognitive processes and metacognitive skills.
also have greater flexibility in ideas and approaches to tasks, high standards of performance (sometimes to the point of unhealthy perfectionism), high motivation to accomplish challenging tasks and feelings of boredom about easy tasks.
they have positive self-concept, especially with regard to academic endeavours, above-average social development and emotional adjustment (although a few extremely gifted students may have difficulties because they are too different from their peers).
Some also have disabilities like learning disabilities, ADHD or emotional/behavioural disorders.
Learning styles of giftedness
gifted students spend more time on problems compared to the average person.
tirelessly spend excessive time looking for information to solve these problems.
often form analogies to understand new information better.
also seem to understand the “bigger picture” faster than others.
They tend to see the relationships between components and are able to figure out how they are inter-related as a whole.
Besides that, they are independent and self-motivated learners who enjoy learning new things.
assisting gifted children to excel
provide individualised tasks and assignments,
help form study groups consisting of other gifted learners,
teach complex cognitive skills within the context of a specific subject,
provide opportunities for independent study,
encourage students to set high standards and
seek outside resources like mentors and experts.
typical reasons why giftedness not recognised
Teachers are too academic oriented and fail to recognise that students can be gifted even though they do not score high in examinations. There are eight types of intelligence as proposed by Gardner.
Students from poor families, or from rural schools are frequently not recognised as gifted as they do not have the chance to showcase their abilities, they lack the encouragement from their family or teachers, or are stereotyped as being underachievers because of their background.
Implications to T + L
should be alert in observing our students and
active in getting to know them and their backgrounds better.
teaching and Learning styles
Teaching and learning is a social process.
It involves social interactions amongst students and between students and teachers.
The teaching and learning process also has implications on equality of educational opportunities.
Teachers and the curriculum can marginalise some students if care is not taken to understand their learning styles.
two categories of teaching and learning styles: - differ in their learning styles and this influences their learning in a variety of ways
The Field Sensitive and
The Field Independent.
Students’ interaction with teachers:
Field Sensitive examples
Openly expresses positive feelings for
Seeks reward that strengthens
relationship with teacher.
Is highly motivated when working
individually with teacher.
The Field Independent. examples
Impatient to begin tasks; likes to finish
Seeks non-social rewards.
Likes to try new tasks without teacher’s
Characteristics of the curriculum that will facilitate students’ learning:
Field Sensitive examples
Concepts are related to personal interests and experience of children.
Concepts presented in humanised or story format.
Performance objectives and global aspects of curriculum are carefully explained.
The Field Independent. examples
Deals with math and science concepts.
Based on discovery approach.
Details of concepts are emphasised;
parts have meaning of their own.
Teachers’ Instructional behaviours:
Field Sensitive examples
Guides students; Makes purpose and principles of lesson obvious; lessons clear, with steps toward “solution”.
Encourages learning through
modelling; ask children to imitate.
Expresses confidence in child’s ability
to succeed. Sensitive to weak students
Encourages co-operation and development of group feelings, to think and work as a unit.
Holds informal class discussions; provides opportunities for students to see how concepts learnt are related to student’s personal experience.
The Field Independent. examples
Encourages learning though trial and
Encourages competition between
Adopts a consultant role; teacher encourages students to seek help only when in difficulty.
Encourages task orientation; focusses student’s attention on the assigned tasks.
Encourages independent achievement; emphasises the importance of individual effort.
teachers can respond to their student’s learning styles by
Students can be categorised as having field sensitive or field independent learning styles
. Teachers should recognise this and use teaching approaches that address the needs of students with different learning styles.
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teachers should also encourage their students to have varied approaches to learning
. For example, field independent learners should be encouraged to work with others,
likewise, field sensitive learners need to be encouraged to be more independent learners.
students are different as individuals despite belonging to a specific group.
-They may differ in their aptitude, attitude, self-concept, levels of resilience, emotional quotients and many more.
one important aspect of individual difference
Student Learning styles
as “Learner preferences for different types of learning and instructional activities.”
usually measured by self-report techniques that ask individuals how they think they prefer to learn.
They are not tied directly to mental abilities but to learner perceptions of their own preferences.
Attitudes and learning styles
make sure we understand how our students learn and what their needs are before developing our teaching programmes.
-If we don’t take into account the existence of different learning styles, we run the risk of investing time and energy into programs that are not effective because they don’t help students access the learning successfully.
-As a matter of fact, a teacher’s behaviour in the classroom is a key factor to helping all students reach their potential regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, religion, language or exceptionality.
When teachers are able to recognise the subtle and unintentional biases in their behaviour, positive changes can be made in the classroom.
-A change in teaching and learning styles can better meet the needs of a culturally diverse student population.
Culture and learning style
Teachers must be aware of both individual and cultural differences otherwise they may perceive a student as being unacceptably deviant or deficient.
-Typically, we look for emotional reasons to explain why a child is not learning (emotional block or conflict, or a learning disability).
-There is no denying that many teachers ignore the possibility that children are not learning because they are not given the opportunity to use their own style of learning.
Q: whether the patterns of relations between the goals of learning vary across ethnic and cultural lines.
-According to them, academic-related values and beliefs are generated by differences in family and school.
-For example, Asian parents and families place greater emphasis on the value of education and academic excellence. As a result, the style of learning in Asian students is such that effort is placed over ability and behaviours that lead to achievement such as doing homework and taking tuition, are encouraged.
-The Japanese emphasis on self-criticism is not to learn for the sake of learning but to learn and improve in an attempt to not let others down.
-The Asian version of “competition” is not focussed on outperforming others but as a focus on living up to socially shared standards of excellence.
3 Learning modalities of Eric P. Jensen
kinesthetic learners study well hands on.
Auditory learners learn well with tape recorders and listening carefully to lectures,
visual learners learn well with charts, maps, notes and other study materials;
He believes that students who have difficulty with learning and must be re-taught will not be successful unless they are re-taught in the modality in which they learn best.
Case studies of individual differences
all students are NOT the same. eg
Some students originate from affluent backgrounds while others are from less fortunate circumstances.
Some students may be facing emotional turmoil in and outside of the school while others enjoy peace and a well-balanced life.
Some may be victims of unfortunate circumstances like the divorce of parents, while others have a supportive family unit at home.
Some may have problems adjusting to the school environment while others are accustomed to it.
Teachers will only be able to give their best in equalising education opportunities once they identify and acknowledge that each student has different needs and caters to these differences.
negative effects of a multicultural society create problems within the classrooms that lead to cliques and individual differences.
group and individual differences need to be recognised and addressed by all concerned to ensure a harmonious classroom environment.
boys and girls have different needs; at the same time, students with special needs, such as the disabled, the gifted and other disadvantaged children, have their specific needs too. These students, no matter how different, are individuals and have individual needs that need to be addressed.
in an age of cultural pluralism, recognising multiculturalism and its effects on learning styles is needed to manage diversity effectively.
Because each student has his or her own unique set of physical and intellectual abilities, perceptions and needs, the learning styles of your students may vary widely.
One of the greatest challenges for teachers is to provide a positive learning environment for all students in the classroom.
the greatest challenge faced by teachers due to group and individual differences amongst their students? How can the differences be reconciled?
The greatest challenge is to be able to recognise the differences and to use teaching strategies that can address them.
strategies such as
Knowing our students’ needs as individuals.
Treat all students fairly, regardless of their ethnic and/or SES background.
Use a variety of teaching styles to match the different learning styles.
Help students modify their approaches to learning and allow them to experience different learning styles.
Help students accept their differences and celebrate their natural strengths.
Acknowledging the influence of their background as well as our treatment of them based on their behaviour.
As educators, we should not make the mistake of generalising or assuming that all students are the same.
Instead, we should be alert in observing our students and active in getting to know them and their backgrounds better.
According to the Handbook of Individual Differences, Learning and Instruction (Jonassen and Grabowski 1993), individual differences amongst students do bear an impact on how each individual learns and performs in school.
Below are two cases taken from Bennett (1995), which will show us the importance of understanding our students as individuals and to avoid stereotyping them just because they belong to a certain group with a specific background.
The case study below was of two grade three students in an elementary school.
4.3 Managing issues of inter-group relationships
Theories of inter-group relationships
relevant to ME
---- theories have direct bearing on the implementation of ME in our schools.
Inter-group Contact Theory (Allport, 1985)
continuous interaction among members of majority and minority groups will lead to improvement in relationships among them.
inter-group contact can lead to the reduction of inter-group prejudice if the contact situation embodies the following 4 conditions:
No competition between the groups.
Authority sanction for the contact.
Equal status between the groups in the situation.
Since school can be a primary context for inter-group relationship, a place where students spend a greater part of the day socialising through interactions amongst themselves as well as with the adult authority figures.
-Thus, the school has the potential to develop positive inter-group relationships amongst its students, provided that equality of educational opportunities prevails through its practices.
-However, a school’s mismanagement of its environment can also breed inter-group conflicts and stereotypes that may lead to inter-group tension and social exclusion.
-Thus, ME strives to inculcate more positive inter-group relationships amongst students and teachers in the school as well as the society.
Self esteem hypothesis
states that when people have the appropriate education and high self-esteem, their prejudices will go away;
suggests that conflicting groups need to cooperate by laying aside their individual interests and learning to work together towards shared goals.
with the contention on enforcing laws against discriminative behaviours, whereby prejudices can be eliminated.
Importance of Intergroup relations
inter-group relationship is a form of social dynamism involving social relationships between diverse groups, such as between ethnic/racial groups, religious groups, and gender. It also covers relationships when socialising with special needs individuals, at risk situations and the like.
understanding this dynamism is important because at one time or another, you or someone you know have been the victim of prejudice, racism or discrimination.
is it possible for schools to make specific rules against negative acts such as prejudices and discriminations in school?
Understanding inter-group relationship -- concepts in understanding
the view that one’s ethnic group system of belief and values are morally superior to others.
Ethnocentrism portrays an attitude or belief that one’s own culture is better and of a higher value from the cultures of other groups.
The word ethnocentrism derives from the Greek word “ethnos”, meaning “nation” or “people”, and the English word centre or centrism.
A common phrase set for ethnocentrism is ‘tunnel vision”, which means that ethnocentrism is the view that one’s ethnic group system of belief and values are morally superior to others.
definition ---> an irrational” attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristic”.
-- a form of ethnocentric belief, that one’s values are more superior to others. Prejudice is often accompanied by ignorance, fear or hatred.
Prejudices are formed by a complex psychological process that begins with attachment to a close circle of acquaintances or an “in group” such as family.
Prejudice is often aimed at “out groups”.
Social scientists believe that children begin to acquire prejudices and stereotypes as toddlers. Many studies have shown that as early as age three, children pick up terms of racial prejudice without really understanding their significance.
The theories discussed above can be used as a basis for policies and practices in schools to reduce prejudices and discriminations.
Apart from that, students should be encouraged to be positive about themselves, the society, and other people, and not be ethnocentric and negative about other people’s culture.
For decades, sociologists have looked at ways to reduce and eliminate conflict and prejudices between groups; efforts are ongoing.
others way to reduce prejudice
A. Prejudice is defined as “an irrational” attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristic. The school can be a place where prejudice can flourish or curbed, because the school is a primary context for inter-group relationships, a place where students spend a greater part of the day socialising through interactions amongst themselves as well as with the adult authority figures. Thus, the school has the potential to develope positive inter-group relationships amongst its students, provided that equality of educational opportunities prevails through its practices. However, a school’s mismanagement of its environment can also breed inter-group conflicts and stereotypes that may lead to inter-group tension and social exclusion. Thus, ME strives to inculcate more positive inter-group relationships amongst students and teachers in the school as well as the society. Theories of prejudice reduction can provide insights on how prejudice can be reduced amongst our students.
positive inter-group contact can lead to the reduction of inter-group prejudice if the contact situation embodies the following four conditions, as argued by Gordon Allport:
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the self-esteem hypothesis, which states that when people have the appropriate education and high self-esteem, their prejudices will go away, is relevant in that the school is a place where the self-esteem of students can be enhanced through effective teaching.
the cooperation hypothesis, which suggests that teachers can use cooperative learning strategies to ensure conflicting groups cooperate by laying aside their individual interests and learning to work together towards shared goals.
the legal hypothesis, which contention is in enforcing laws against discriminative behaviours, whereby rules pertaining to prejudices, discriminations and derogatory remarks against other ethnic groups, students with special needs and the like are enforced.
These above mentioned theories have direct bearing on the implementation of ME in our schools and the reduction of prejudice amongst students.
related to one's mental attitude
superiority attitude one group has which warrants unfair treatment of another individual or group perceived as inferior.
look down on an ethnic group’s culture that they deem inferior.
the ‘superior’ group views the language, artefacts, music, traditions and economic activities of the perceived inferior group as beneath their culture which they deem as superior in every aspect.
race vs ethnicity
Differences in physical characteristics
Physical characteristic inherited at birth regardless of location
Cannot be altered
Differences in culture
Learned cultural behaviours that differentiate one ethnic group to another
Can be altered through choice and belief
For example, the Malays are said to belong to the Austronesian race, but there are various ethnic groups belonging to this race.
Apart from the Malays in West Malaysia there are the Javanese, Bugis, Minangkabaus and Sarawak Malays; while most sharing similar cultural heritage, each group may have their own unique worldviews, lifestyles and dialects.
most prevalent amongst the dominant racial group against the powerless minority group.
2 types of racism
derogatory comments made, or discriminatory actions against another race?
can happen consciously or unconsciously.
It is clearly seen and felt. eg: formal racism such as racial segregation in South Africa
Institutional racism is a racist attitude of an institution which discriminates against a particular group with the sanction of the institution
OR can be hidden. is subtler and sometimes goes unnoticed.
For example, when the government fails to help its poor minority group improve their living; this can be seen as a form of racism too.
unjust prejudicial treatment imposed based on the different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, exceptionality, gender or ability.
While stereotypes and prejudices are related to one’s mental attitude, discrimination involves one’s behaviour.
Have you ever experienced being discriminated simply due to your race or ethnic group or your gender or academic abilities?
ME will make us more aware of our prejudices and possible discriminatory acts against our students.
Can you think of how discrimination can intentionally or unintentionally be practiced by teachers in their classrooms?
How about the school or the education system itself?
involves one’s behaviour.
can also be POSITIVE
positive discrimination is being practiced when selection to higher education for poor students are not strictly based on merit.
Poor rural children with lower grades are accepted into premier secondary schools while the advantaged urban children are selected strictly based on merit.
Additionally, while being prejudiced is related to discrimination, one does not necessarily discriminate even though one is prejudiced.
one may discriminate even though one is not prejudiced.
It happens when discrimination is institutionalised, which means that it is being sanctioned by the law or rules of the society.
Can you think of how discrimination can intentionally or unintentionally be
practiced by the school or teachers in their classrooms?
Intentional discrimination happens when the school or teachers consciously discriminate against a student or group of students by not giving equal access to resources, materials, quality teaching and personal attention.
This can happen to poor students in weak classes.
It can also happen to students when a teacher does not give equal attention to their needs just because they are from a different ethnic group from the teacher.
Teachers can unintentionally discriminate against a group of students because of
the school rules and organisational setting.
When teachers cannot give their best because they are assigned to teach
classrooms with poor facilities as compared to other classrooms.
When the school only provides extra classes for potentially ‘A’ students and
not for the potential failures.
a mental category that is developed when we are unable or unwilling to obtain all the information we would need to make fair judgment about people or situations.
“Stereotype” is a generalisation about a person or groups of persons.
It is a natural phenomenon, a mental category that is developed when we are unable or unwilling to obtain all the information we would need to make fair judgment about people or situations.
-Our society often innocently creates and perpetuates stereotypes, but these often lead to unfair discrimination and persecution when the stereotype is unfavourable.
-However, even favourable stereotypes are not acceptable because they are not accurate. -Research has shown that stereotype-threat can harm the academic performance of any individual for whom the situation invokes a stereotype based expectation or poor performance.
-For example, stereotype-threat can harm the academic performance of minority students, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds and students placed in the weaker classrooms. -These students often experience stereotype vulnerability, which means that even though they have improved in their performance, it is difficult for them to fight against the stereotype and to believe that they can excel.
-Can you give more examples of stereotype vulnerability?
related to one's mental attitude
importance of inter-group relationship in ME
Teachers and the schools should be aware of the way their students are treated, and the way they treat each other. Any form of discrimination against students (consciously or unconsciously done) must be examined and curbed.
Cultural taboos and implications on students’ and teachers’ behaviour
being insensitive can affect the social relationships between groups.
definition of taboos
taboos as a cultural or religious custom that does not allow people to do, use or talk about a particular thing as they are offensive or embarrassing.
Critical incidences in teaching and implications to the teaching and learning process
incidents involving sensitive situations, which teachers need to take care of immediately.
incidents or situations that can result in a significant change
in a person’s life or the institution (Tripp 1993).
Many aspects of inter-group relationships can be manifested in the classroom through critical incidents
critical incidents in teaching are situations that occur in teaching or in the classroom that significantly changes the social phenomenon in the classroom or school, as well as the life of students and teachers affected.
very important consequences to the students AND teachers.
incidents may affect their values, beliefs, stereotype formation and others.
may upgrade teachers’ professional skills through learning to deal with the incidents, and improve or worsen their relationship with the students and their management in the classroom.
use Bandura's Social Learning Theory’ ---> one learns through observing others’ behaviours, attitudes, and outcomes of those behaviours.
important that teachers are able to handle these incidents properly as it will affect the students’ and teacher’s life in the future.
Students might learn values and beliefs through the incidents by forming schema during the observation of the events.
Learning can be through modelling adults, peers or self-modelling, as well as through the observation of others.
the manner a teacher handles critical incidents can affect significantly a person’s values, beliefs and social relationship with others.
Bandura’s theory regarding social learning relevant to explain why teachers
should act upon critical incidents immediately?
Bandura’s Social Learning theory posits that we learn through modelling others behaviour and attitude.
Thus, if teachers allow the critical incidents (which involve important messages regarding beliefs and values) to happen without clarifying the messages of the incidents, the students may feel that the incidents are not important and nothing can be learnt from them.
Students will tend not to be critical and always accepting even though the incidents may send messages of stereotypes, prejudice or discrimination
. For example, take the case of the boys making fun of the girls who develop physically, by tugging at their bra straps.
If the teacher does not take the opportunity to teach the boys about respect for others and emphasising that what they did was a violation of the girls’ rights and can be seen as sexual harassment, both the girls and the boys in the class will revel in the act and see it as just a hilarious prank.
manifestations of issues in inter-group relationships as discussed above, such as, stereotypes, prejudice and other beliefs, which teachers must handle immediately in order to take advantage of the teaching moments.
can be related to various aspects of our diverse social life such as sex and gender identification, religion, exceptionality, social class, ethnicity, age and language.
6 kinds of critical incidents
Sex and gender identification
practicum stopping a child for playing with gender specific toys
bra prank - how to handle
more expensive vs cheaper class trips and how children from the lower socio economic status feel when only well to do children and the high achievers qualify?
? a different trip was organized for the poorer and low achievers that take them to places nearer to home as a strategy?
serving of halal food at a non Muslim party?
other religious based concerns
a. Dietary attitudes, (halal and haram)
b. Outfit, (dress codes)
c. Divorce, (some think that it is a sin to divorce)
d. Drugs or alcohol, (in Islam and for Catholic Christians, drinking is prohibited)
e. Heavy metal songs, (some think that they are songs of the devil)
f. Premarital sex, (some religions prohibit it)
g. Abortion, (some religions prohibit it)
‘One Person, One Vote’ - incidents based on ethnic groups -- handling unfairness of this policy -- involve parents for more effective strategy
make a teaching moment of a critical incident - old man should be sent to old folk homes as they are useless and simply bothersome. VS
His friend said that he does not mind sharing his room, as it is their culture to be respectful and caring to the elderly.
4.4 Teaching That Is Multicultural
Dimensions of Multicultural Education (ME) ===> Benett
dimensions of ME in terms of intervention and strategies that educators can take in order to ensure a rich learning environment, which will result in equality of educational opportunities for all students regardless of background. ----> providing quality education for all students towards equality of educational opportunities for all.
Dimension 1: Equity pedagogy
can be achieved by teachers when they create conducive school and classroom climates to their students, giving due consideration to cultural styles in the teaching and learning process and giving focus to students’ achievements.
Dimension 2: Curriculum reform
takes into consideration curriculum theory that highlights the contributions of all groups, and not only the majority group, when designing the school curriculum. It is based on research and historical inquiry to create a more culturally broad and inclusive curriculum: the
reform consciously detects bias in texts, media and educational materials.
Dimension 3: Multicultural competence
involves the ability to understand the development of one’s ethnic identity and that of other cultural groups. It also involves the understanding and familiarity with one’s own and other ethnic groups’ cultures. It strives to minimise prejudice within and across cultural groups.
Dimension 4: Teaching towards social justice
involves the teachers’ efforts in exposing students to ways of combating prejudice, reducing their misconceptions towards certain ethnic groups and imbibing the appreciation of diverse cultures.
Implementing Multicultural Education (ME)
on how ME should be modelled.
Should be built around the ideals of freedom, justice, equality, equity and
Is a means to ensure the highest levels of academic achievement and
realisation of true potential for all students.
Helps students develop a positive self-concept by providing knowledge about
the history, culture and contributions of diverse groups.
Must directly address issues of racism, sexism, classism, ageism, and religious
Should advocate the belief that students’ life histories and experiences are
at the center of the teaching and learning process; pedagogy should occur in
a context that is familiar to students by considering multiple and diverse
ways of thinking.
Should ensure that educators and institutional personnel are multicultural
literate and capable of including and embracing families and communities;
to create an environment that is supportive of multiple perspectives,
experiences, and democracy.
This guidelines also relate to dimensions of ME
A. The guidelines on how to approach ME and the values to be imbibed into teachers as well as students are all a manifestation of the dimensions of ME. The importance of relevant curriculum, and effective pedagogy in ensuring equality of educational opportunities and developing multicultural competencies amongst our students and teachers are the focus of ME. Additionally, the quest for our young ones to be exemplary citizens of the society, nation and also the world are the thrust of the dimensions of ME.
Teaching core values
-elaborations of these four elements:
Acceptance and appreciation of cultural diversity; not just tolerance.
Respect for human dignity and universal human rights of all individuals.
Responsibility to the world community for the collective good of all.
Respect for the earth and all its inhabitants; realisation of the inter- connectedness of all beings on earth.
ALSO essential for all educational institutions and educators to prescribe to the Four Core Values of Multicultural Education (Bennett 2007) in teaching curriculum and procedures.
By doing so, these values will be indirectly inculcated in the lives of the students and this will assist them in their multicultural relationships with others thereafter.
Also, these core values serve as a guide for educators in dealing with controversial issues within the confinements of the educational institution so that no one is marginalised.
Strategies of Multicultural Education (ME)
various instructional interventions in the classroom that are specifically designed to meet the individual needs of students. ----> - suggests that teachers should build instructional qualities to entice students to learn, help students understand content taught, develop personal qualities to guide their students well and build a positive classroom climate.
Addressing individual differences
In terms of instructional qualities,
-teachers should let students make important contributions through class activities;
provide effective progress feedback to students;
diversify instructional patterns and
-alter physical learning environments when necessary.
-let all students experience success;
-clarify criteria for success;
-should define objectives; make them challenging but attainable;
clarify the importance of objectives;
Invite students to actively participate in planning and evaluating curriculum;
leverage on students’ existing interests and utilise them in lessons and
organise at least part of the curriculum around real-life problems.
cultivate curiosity and creativity;
teacher should develop these personal qualities
-should search for ways to express care for each student and never belittle/ridicule students.
should always project enthusiasm;
engage students’ attention by constantly moving and
not merely “camping” behind the desk, and be genuine in their treatment of their students.
building a positive classroom climate
-creating a climate of trust and acceptance amongst students and the teachers in the classroom.
-Teachers should get to know their students;
learn their names right away find ways to help students know each other and
insist that students show respect for each other.
Teaching at-risk children: The micro approach
One of the most pressing problems faced by teachers is teaching students who are not interested in learning.
These students are at risk of failure if they are not given the quality education they deserve.
This group of students is commonly found in the weaker classrooms.
Our school system streams students based on their abilities. Thus, we find students in the classrooms with low achievers showing little interest in learning and at risk of failing academically.
Using ME, how do we make these students enjoy learning?
=a teaching strategy for under achievers by Stanley Pogrow (2009).
Teaching outrageously --- a non conventional approach for dealing with student boredom and resistance.
integrated the term outrageous with teaching objectives and coined the term “Teaching Outrageously”.
-believed that dramatising content instructions has tremendous potential for teaching students who have not been successful learners or are intimidated by a particular subject or type of content.
-Outrageous teaching links the specific learning objectives to the students’ sense of imagination and their views of the world.
an educational technique which is out of the ordinary.
offers an imaginative alternative context for teaching content and for developing both basic and problem solving skills.
Dramatic techniques, such as surprise, humor, fantasy, role plays, games, and simulations are used to create standard-based content lessons that are effective and meaningful.
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Addressing at-risk students: The macro approach
---> using an alternative education system
As an effective teacher, we need to believe in all our students’ capabilities.
This is because each student has his/her own potential to succeed if given the opportunity.
Perhaps the education system or the approach used by teachers does not meet the needs of these at-risk students.
As a result, they get bored and get involved in disciplinary problems. In the United States, there are various alternatives to public schools established to cater for the needs of students who are not suited for the regular public schools.
alternative schools (as options to public schools)
are schools for students who exhibit academic and disciplinary problems, as well as those having difficulty adjusting to the traditional school routine.
could be a separate facility where students are transferred to when they leave public school, or it could be within the school itself.
program is specifically designed to reach students who are at risk of academic failure and dropping out of school. WHERE individual alternative schools develop their own standards and criteria for success.
alternative school concept is totally different, where the students feel belonged and attached to the school.
This is because all the personnel (teachers) understand that all children do not learn in the same way, so varied instructional methods and innovative curriculum is essential.
Types of alternative schools
wide variety of organisational structures such as; School-within-a-School,
EXAMPLES --- Magnet School; School without Walls; Residential School; Separate Alternative Learning Centre; College-based Alternative Schools; Summer Camp; Second Chance School and Charter School.
Key elements of successful alternative schools
in order to have a successful alternative
school, these criteria must be fulfilled
----> all the principles, and approaches of ME are practiced in these schools.
maximum teacher/student ratio of 1:10;
small student base not exceeding 250 students;
school staff having high expectations for student achievement;
learning program specific to the students’ expectations and learning style;
flexible school schedule with community involvement and support
; having belief that all students can succeed; strong family and community involvement;
flexible scheduling and varied instructional strategies that emphasiseson active learning.
caring faculty with continual staff development;
clearly stated mission and discipline code;
alternative education as an option for students at risk of failures in our education system? Give some suggestions.
we need alternative schools for our students who cannot adapt well to the normal school system. Relevant curriculum and pedagogies will help students at-risk ofdropping out to resume their studies more relevant to their needs. We can emulate the alternative schools found elsewhere but they need to be relevant and suitable to the needs of our country.
Performance Learning Center (PLC).
Another form of the alternative school
a unique non-traditional learning environment for high school students, who have not been successful in traditional schools for various reasons other than ability.
operates a business-like environment that prepares students for high school graduation and beyond.
program offers students the opportunity to accelerate their learning; using a computer-based curriculum and project-based instruction.
intimate setting allows for personal and small group instruction.
students will benefit from mentorship, job shadowing and preparation
for post-secondary education
These alternative education settings are important for students as they provide opportunities for at-risk students to excel, who otherwise may be at risk of failure in big public schools.
schools are small, with an average of 75 – 150 students, which helps to exemplify a positive school climate and provide a low student/teacher ratio while increasing one-on-one attention.
Teaching strategies for teachers
Gifted teachers are known for their awareness and human sensitivity. They are able to bridge cultural and individual gaps.
They provide each student with what he or she needs to be successful and take steps that will provide guidance to success for all of their students, regardless of their cultural or individual ways.
some guidelines to help teachers use cultural and cognitive style in their teaching.
Teachers should know their own teaching and learning styles.
Begin with a few students, especially the academically weak in the classes; know the learning styles of each student; build classroom flexibility slowly, adding one strategy at a time and when teaching concepts and skills, use all modes: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.