Unit 002: Understanding inclusive learning and teaching in lifelong learning
The focus of this assignment is the key factors that influence inclusive teaching and learning and how it is incorporated into my specialist subject area. It is likely that you will be teaching a diverse group of students – from various backgrounds, with differing levels of prior learning and expectations, as well as different learning needs. Taking an inclusive approach when teaching will help to ensure that your teaching meets everyone’s needs enabling students to learn effectively. As a result students will feel that they belong in the classroom and learning environment. Inclusive learning means treating all of your students fairly and equally. As Petty (1998, p.69) states:
‘All students must feel that they are positively and equally valued and accepted, and that their efforts to learn are recognised, and judged without bias. It is not enough that they are tolerated. They must feel that they and the groups to which they belong (e.g. gender, social-class or attainment groups) are fully and equally accepted and valued by you, and the establishment in which you work’. 1.1 Summarise teaching and learning strategies in own specialism Key characteristics of active teaching and learning strategies
A. The main advantages of active teaching and learning approaches are, amongst other things, that they may allow for, or encourage:
High levels of participation
Students usually find such activities energising and are likely to engage more with the subject matter as a result.
Use of prior experience or knowledge
All students have previous experiences and knowledge of some kind and active strategies offer them the opportunity to make informal connections with things they have already learned.
Adoption of new perspectives and positions
The opportunity to discuss topics with others and to listen to or address other points of view (as in small group work or role play, for example) may often lead to the revision of existing perspectives and to enhanced learning opportunities.
Contestation of values and assumptions from different disciplines Many of these strategies are appropriate in inter-disciplinary contexts where students may need to address a problem from a range of view points. In collaborating with each other, they are more likely to have the opportunity to learn to debate and challenge basic assumptions and values.
Openness with respect to learning outcomes
Active teaching and learning approaches will often yield unanticipated outcomes; there will be some learning that takes place, in other words, that has not been (and could not have been) planned for and this can be rewarding for both students and teachers.
Peer support and peer learning
Collaborative activities (such as group work or simulations) provide students with opportunities to learn from and support each other in ways that are not facilitated by more formal, teacher-centred approaches.
Critical reflection on action and experience
By sharing knowledge and experiences, by being encouraged to take a different perspective on a particular topic (e.g. in a debate) students may learn to reflect critically on the things they do and say. [For a brief discussion about reflection as an integral part of ‘deep learning’, refer to section 3 C below.]
Greater ownership of and responsibility for learning
Active teaching and learning approaches may encourage students to become more self-directed and self-motivated. By taking on a more enquiring and autonomous role, they are more likely to develop a sense of ‘ownership’ in relation to their learning and to be able to build on this independently in later life.
Development of generic communicative skills (e.g. listening, debating, collaborating) Strategies like the ones shown in the diagram above (see Figure 1) afford many opportunities for students to develop interpersonal and communicative...
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