IPTS Standard 3 | Diversity
The competent teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.
Hot Topic Presentation (Powerpoint)
Hot Topic Presentation (Outline)
This powerpoint presentation was developed by myself and three of my peers in CI 401M: Introduction to Teaching in a Diverse Society in the fall of 2009. This assignment was to create a presentation on a current topic relating to education. The topic we chose was supporting ELL students in the math classroom. The presentation talks about ELL learners, the relevant issues concerning these learners in classrooms today, why they are important, and best practices for accommodating ELL students. For the presentation, I collaborated with 3 other students to put together what we thought was the most informative content on this subject.
Teachers must understand that students come from different backgrounds, and we should take these differences into account to make sure that content is accessible to everybody. This presentation talks specifically about ELL learners and the accommodations that can be made to help these students learn mathematics. A big principle that is highlighted in the presentation is equity. The notion of equity is developed for teachers to modify their instruction so that these students have access to resources and a challenging math curriculum so that they can achieve at the highest level. Specifically, we understand that ELL students are at a disadvantage because we use language to explain math concepts and communication to help facilitate learning for students. These are crucial for students to learn mathematics, and since the content classes cater to students fluent in English, ELL students will have trouble understanding and the content will be less accessible to them. Some various instructional opportunities are outlined in the presentation such as having bilingual personnel, translating classwork, differentiating worksheets and bolding vocabulary, using technology, and giving students opportunities to share their culture in the classroom and apply it to their lives.
As teachers, we will have diverse learners (not only culturally, racially, or ethnically - but also in terms of how students learn and what they relate to). In terms of various learning styles, I will use multiple representations, audio, visual, and hands on activities to engage students. Meeting the needs of all my students is a challenge but it is essential. I know that equity does not mean equality and sameness, but equal opportunity and fairness. I will not treat all of my students the same, but make sure that they all have the same opportunities to do well and succeed in my class. It is also important to understand that mathematics is not culturally neutral. For instance, teaching only symbolic mathematics (or naked mathematics) is political because it is saying that this is the type of math we should learn, devoid of meaning. I will not ask students to leave their culture at the door when they enter my classroom, but rather use it as a way for students to see themselves in the curriculum and in society. I realize that my personal biases as a teacher also plays into what kind of material I will present to my students and how I present it. I need to understand these biases as well as my students and be aware of what we value.