What is good practice?
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When resources are produced, consideration is taken to represent the diverse range of learners who access provision A variety of teaching methods are used following an assessment of different learning styles Assessment is fair and does not discriminate against any learner Language used by the tutor is non-discriminatory and appropriate Discussion and comments within the learning environment are managed to ensure learner language is appropriate and nondiscriminatory Materials and topics are presented in a way that are sensitive to equality and diversity Resources are adapted to ensure that learners can access information and to meet individual needs (large print, on tape, using symbols) Learners have the opportunity to fully evaluate the course in an open and anonymous way
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What I need to think about as a tutor to ensure equality in my classroom practice? Planning • • • Do the course documents take into consideration the individual needs of the learner? (Initial Assessment, Scheme of work, ILP) Is the learning environment conducive to learning? (layout, accessibility) Are there a variety of learning styles included in the teaching – auditory, visual and kinaesthetic? (Schemes of work, lesson plans)
• • • • Is time allocated during learner’s induction for information and discussion on equality and diversity, including policies, etc? (Scheme of work, lesson plans, ILP, complaints procedure) Setting appropriate ground rules with learners (Lesson plan) Are appropriate assessment methods used for all learners? (Differentiation) Using appropriate and sensitive language and challenging inappropriate use of language
• Is diversity included within teaching – making reference and using examples from a variety of cultures, religions, traditions, exploring stereotyping and other topics around equality? (Lesson plan, resources) How is prejudice and stereotyping challenged in the classroom? How do you build on learner diversity as an educational resource?
• • • Are teaching resources accessible for all learners? Do learners require additional resources to help them to access information? (Initial assessment, ILP) Are people from diverse backgrounds, socioeconomic, cultural, people with disabilities visible in course materials?
• Are learners given the opportunity to discuss additional support at the beginning and throughout the course?
Providing Accessible Handouts/Course Materials
First and foremost, find out the individual needs of your learners. It is good practice at the start of the course to tell learners:
If anyone needs handouts produced in a different format, colour, font, or font size, please let me know and I will arrange this for you. I will be around at break or at the end of the session if anyone wants to come and talk to me
When you are producing any paper-based resources, the following handy hints are useful: • • Leave lots of space and make sure you do not pack too much text or information on to the page. Use more paper and more space Use a clear font. Arial, Gill, Sans, Century Gothic and Comic Sans are better than most. Learners may have specific needs if they are dyslexic or have a visual impairment. Use point 14 for text and bigger if the learner requests it. It is not appropriate to enlarge using the photocopier; this will distort the letters and make them hard to read. Avoid using Jargon and be careful to use plain simple English. For learners who have a visual impairment, any pictures, charts or symbols must be explained in text format, so learners can access them. Some learners find it easier to read from coloured paper than white. Black on lemon paper is particularly good. Check with the learner. Avoid dark coloured or fluorescent paper which can be hard to read. Use pictures to aid understanding and meaning of text. Pictures are...