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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Best Practices for Teaching Diverse Learners

The classrooms of today are extremely diverse. There are many teachers who do not take into consideration the diversity of the students they teach. There are many types of diverse learning groups, such as gender, cultural and linguistic. Students all come from different backgrounds, have different interests and have different learning structures that they are accustomed to. It is important to use the best methods of teaching a diverse student population as possible in order to be an effective teacher.

In order to effectively teach students of different genders it is important to encourage equal participation in all classes. If one gender is called on more often than anther there may be confidence issues. It is also beneficial to make sure presentations are done by both sexes in all different subjects, and to not expect certain genders to focus on certain subjects. When planning lesson plans it is valuable to present men and women in roles that are not stereotypical; this will help enforce the idea that gender is not a restriction. It is also a good practice to encourage males and females to pursue careers in non stereotypical roles; this will help students use their talents and skills in areas they are interested in. All of these methods are beneficial ways to help break down fears and stereotypes associated with gender. When these walls are broken down students will be more capable to learn and achieve.
It is important to take into account the diversity of cultures in a classroom in order to be the best teacher you can possibly be. When in a classroom it is very helpful to create a friendly environment in the classroom and encourage all students to participate. If there is a friendly environment where everyone is respected for their differences instead of feared or ridiculed real learning can be achieved. If the classroom environment is a friendly environment than students will be more excited to learn; they will also be less shy and afraid to contribute their own ideas to the class. In the case of English Language Learners and students who are not familiar with American culture it is important to use many concrete examples such as pictures to help teach the lessons. It is also beneficial to assign learning partners to help assist the learning process in culturally diverse classrooms.
Encouraging all students to participate can be applied to both types of learner identified. Interaction is the best method of learning. When a student participates in the classroom they are not only hearing or seeing the lesson be explained; they are interacting and learning the lesson through their own involvement. This has a much stronger impact on a child and leaves a much longer lasting effect on the child. I feel this single strategy can be effective for all learners because interaction is the best method of learning, and when a student is encouraged to participate they will have more confidence in themselves. I think confidence will help a student be capable of learning.
All of these ideas are important when teaching in a diverse classroom environment, and should be taken advantage of when trying to become the best teacher you can possibly be.

By Sarah Ganly

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