In taking a human rights approach or human justice perspective, it is critical to foster equity for diverse learners at Northbridge International School Cambodia. The United Nations created a universal framework to assist schools and educators to develop best practice for all learners, including all students with barriers to learning.
Inclusion in the classroom requires a teacher to consider the entire student body and individual students simultaneously to plan for their learning needs and to address the curriculum. Inclusion is differentiation; requiring teachers to develop creative, effective programming for all students. The planning “for some” or “for one”, which is a critical component of inclusion in a supportive educational environment.
I was reading an article by John McCarthy and his comments about differentiation. He points out that the microwave is a great timesaver for getting food on the table. Yet it’s a taste killer. He challenges us by asking “So why would l not do the same for my students by differentiating based on their needs instead of one size-fits-all methods? I can imagine teachers reading this are saying “I don’t have time”.
Fact 1: Every teacher can identify exceptional, average and under-performing students.
Fact 2: The quality of differentiated instruction far outweighs a single delivery model.
If differentiation is habitually part of our general planning (groupwork tasks and ILPs) and managed well, it does not add time. What it does is strengthen existing learning by allowing students to develop understanding and mastery at their level. Simply put, the ‘bright’ are extended, all are scaffolded and the ‘weak’ are supported.
Solution 1: Become masters of time. When time feels limited - differentiate! Remember we are qualified teachers, so become innovative chefs of time management.
Solutions present themselves when we own the responsibility to differentiate.