Influence of Student diversity and the teaching practice

Introduction

Among the major and urgent concerns that exists in the world today is the ever rising population size that falls in the category that is excluded from meaningful participation and constructive contribution in the economic, social, political and cultural realm of the larger communal context in society.

As it were this state of affairs presents a wanting situation in as far as safety and efficiency. Even more compelling is the role burdened on education as a key component and determinant in the motivation and enhancement of the individual capability and potential. It is seen as a vehicle for widening the individual’s available choices in as far as the enjoyment of the freedoms that are presumed to make life meaningful and worthwhile.

Thesis statement

The history and jurisprudence of the education sector worldwide has since been influenced by the changing trends and ideologies that have brought human rights to the forefront in all educational management and administration initiatives. To begin with the skills provided by basic education beginning with the basic ones such as being able to read and write receive their own levels of prominence.

Secondly, education is said to de-motivate and discourage the continuance of and existence of other more negative life components. For instance the creation and enforcement of the provision of free and compulsory primary education presumably ameliorates child labor. Thirdly, education bears a great obligation and burden that extends towards powerful empowerment of specific individuals who inadvertently suffer from social and economic devaluation.

The acquisition and attainment of universal education by the general population has a necessarily fundamental impact in the alleviation and elimination of social and economic barriers that accrue to any functional society and forms an essential part of the realization of the individual human freedoms (Bloom, 1956)

Instructors worldwide have the responsibility of being key players in the facilitation of the achievement and fulfillment of the objectives of any education system. In this quest they are faced with varying challenges that vary from financial, social and physical nature.

Of specific interest are the physical and social challenges that appear in the form of diversity in the student body. As it is the success of any education policy lies in the class room setup however small it may seem. This means that the actual challenges in the educational sector lie in the class room (Campbell et al, 1988).

The particular goals of every teacher are to ensure that all his children receive equal access to education especially in areas where it is free and compulsory. They also seek to ensure that the learning needs of the learning individuals are met in the best way possible. They also ensure that the child receives quality education at all times despite the differences in the status of the students.

The objective of education is to provide a uniform ground for every child to acquire knowledge is their individual capacities. These principles are emphasized in the goals of education for all. This however begs the question as to who exactly is all since the student body is wide and diverse in age capacity and status. As it were the intended impact of the education sector education still has a lot to achieve in as far as uniformity in the provision of service especially to the marginalized groups in society.

The general trend has been to exclude these individuals based on a social, financial, ethnic or lingual footing in the hope of providing them with additional assistance. As it is they have been regarded as interested parties in the education arena and have ended up being neglected in as far as education all matters is concerned.

Further little input has been made by educational scientists in evaluating ways which can be adopted to aid the education of children from ethnic and linguistic minorities (Collicott, 1991). Some present even more pertinent concerns that require individualized attention such as girls and children with severe social stigma such as children from family that is of sex-workers’ as well as children from slums.

Others have even more conspicuous needs such as working children, street children, house helps. A more recent concern that has grown tremendously in the last two decades is that of children who are physically and intellectually challenged. This kind of outreach does not in any way suggest creating an advantage to the marginalized groups but more of bringing to the forefront the pertinent needs of specific students that stand at a disadvantage as compared to all others.

The diversity of the student body has gradually risen to the forefront of the emerging concerns for the staff and instructors in the educational sector. More often than not the trained teachers are not trained to accommodate the volatility in needs of the various teaching environment.

In specific regard are the mentally challenged children, specialized students and bilingual students who learn English as their second language. This paper seeks to put to perspective the extent to which these diversities affect the delivery methods of the instructors and staff in the teaching profession. In examining these personalized concerns the paper addresses the pertinent contemporary challenges of the modern day teacher in the hostile education setup.

It will also evaluate the extent to which educating an institutions should bend towards supplementing the disadvantaged students within their institutions of learning. It will evaluate the justification that is held in the adoption of a compulsory ridged curriculum as the manual for the delivery of knowledge to the students as opposed to a random based approach to education.

Arguments

Bilingual students.

It is a well established doctrine that English is the most appropriate educational language due to its worldwide acceptability as well as its flexibility and receptiveness to new ideas and concepts. On the other hand there exists a conservative argument to the effect that English bears a since of linguistic prominence and it therefore should be compulsorily learnt for any successful academic achievements (Darling-Hammond, 1997).

This is however academically incorrect and a misrepresentation of the actual value and object of the language in the furtherance of and delivery of education.

The generalization of the failure of bilingual education is ill informed since the English language is just a vehicle for the conveyance of knowledge and it is not the only mode. It so happens that the conservative English only proponents miss out on a fundamental element of the educational mechanism that goes to establishing the study of English language as learning and the basis of exclusion.

They grail to address the most pertinent concerns that lie in the actual administrators of the bilingual education who are essentially common social science teachers who rarely meet the hard lined demands of the English only. Further despite the fact that English is the most prominent and widely used education language a great number of native English speakers still remain functionally illiterate. This therefore means that the adoption of an English only system does not solely guarantee success to the bilingual students.

Even more compelling the greater populations of minority who have over the years learnt and mastered the language still remain illiterate. This is specifically intense among the black American population. This presents the argument that the success or failure of bilingual education does not lay in the extent of mastery of the English language neither does it lie in the lack of such mastery. From this stand it is easier to formulate a solution to the problem of lingual diversity in the class room setup.

There lies an even greater source of motivation for the continued rise in the number of dropouts and unsuccessful bilingual students. Racial and other modes of segregation play a great role in this process. The history of this challenge is long and winding. It however does not conclusively explain all the incidences of such anti learning behaviors. Research indicates that most of these students find the school process boring inflexible to their modes of adaptation.

Objectively the success of bilingual education can be ended by the instructor’s body if only the teachers would take a little extra effort to motivate the process. This can be done by an extra effort by the teacher in learning the native language of the student to allow them to relate the language with their native language. This is not in any way a move towards maintaining the student’s native languages prominence.

It is an effort that creates a better relation of the learning environment with what the student knows best. From a utility point of view the use of the native language prepares the student for the implementation and transposition of the knowledge acquired in the English language to the actual societal setup back home. It also allows the student to embrace the concept more readily.

In the process the learning process becomes more interesting to the student reducing the level of dropouts. Studies indicate that those students who received an attempt to create a connection between the student’s native language and English were more motivated than those who received the rigid English only lectures. The implementation and adoption of this approach into the education curriculum will increase the success rates among the minority groups in the class.

Full inclusion model

The trend for inclusion of children with disability into the public sector was set in 1975 when the education sector bowed to the human rights campaign for equality among individuals with disability. The law created a provision to allow and ensure that children with disabilities get access to an equal opportunity at public education. In later years the legal platform was reviewer and redrafted to accommodate the contemporary concerns of the disabled population.

It now provides that the disabled population is not only entitled to public education they are also entitled to education in the least restrictive environment. The implication of this provision is that there is a more than probable chance of students with disabilities within the public and in private schools receiving education alongside their normal counterparts who happen not to have such disabilities (Forest and Pearpoint, 1992).

The general trend in schools has been to rush at excluding the children from the normal mainstream class. However these students are just like any other and should be treated as so in as far as allocation of resources that are considered as the best for a student’s well being.

The inclusion approach allows the children a better opportunity at socialization and friendships and motivates a since of belonging and cultivates the social behavior and academic potential as well as the behaviors of such a student. The inclusion of these children into the normal mainstream class room embraces diversity in such a setup.

From a human rights stand the exclusion process goes against the fundamental right. As it were the majority of the individuals who fall in the exclusion class do not really want to be in such a setup due to the stigma that is associated with members of such a class. If the resources are to be availed to a student then they should be done so equally to all students.

This however does not disqualify the truth that these children seem to perform better under the secluded environment. This however blinds the parents who form the majority of the proponents of exclusion since the children only succeed in short term goals such as class room relations and book excellence (Tomlinson, 2001). They however miss out on the most fundamental aspect of the knowledge transfer process that involves the sieving of this knowledge to benefit themselves and the society at large.

The child will therefore fail to fit in the society out there. The situation out there is contrary to the common claim that the world is all inclusive. In actual sense the world is very discriminatory and unreceptive to people with disadvantages. It would therefore defeat the purpose of the education process since the student will not be able to implement the knowledge in the real world.

Inclusion is indeed more cost effective, an element that has been inappropriately interpreted as being the sole objective of the inclusion model (Tomlinson, 1999). The success if the inclusion program does not necessarily center on the student ability to fit into the class. Different children in the disabled category and the mainstream class require different sets of instruction.

This therefore means that it is only a matter of a change e of instruction by the teachers. Inclusion presents the student with an opportunity to overcome the disability notion and fit more into the society.

Teaching education and intelligence

Intelligence can be generalized as an individual’s potential to at problem solving in a society that holds with regard the ability to solve problems. The jurisprudence on the research on the intelligence of the human dates back to the Stone Age and has survived several centuries to date.

Each time the search resulted in a new definition of intelligence depending on the specialty that was used to evaluate such intelligence such as language, logical mathematical calculation and the body’s kinesthetic intelligence which goes to the ability of the individual to use their body parts. There are varying explanations and generalizations of the concept of intelligence. A naturalist would suggest that intelligence is the ability to recognize and classify the various aspects of nature such as plants minerals and animals (Gardner, 1983).

The common ground has been that intelligence is inborn and is therefore a fixed human element that cannot be varied. Biologists on the other hand suggest that the individual has more than one intelligence level. Some propose two and others propose eight. They all agree that the average intelligent human has all the two or eight as the case may be.

The difference occurs if an individual misses one or more of these intelligences. The language intelligence for instance presents a great challenge for those who do not have it since they have poor communication skills. This theory challenges the IQ approach that proposed a scale on which an individual’s intelligence may be weighed.

From the perspective and stand of the syllabi or ministerial curriculum guidelines, the students are treated to have an equal level if intelligence in as far as cognitive and interpretive intelligence is concerned. The teacher’s duty is to regulate the operation and use of these intelligences by the students in the class room setup.

The curriculum the other hand supplements these efforts by increasing awareness of the varying approaches methods and styles of learning that are open to the players in the sector that provide an adequate background and learning experience in a more reflective teaching method. Reflective practice is held to mean the ability of the student to interpret the class knowledge acquired in the teaching process to develop tentative solutions to the problems in society (Gardner, 1999).

In the interpretative understanding of the multiple intelligence theory and approach the prominent objective of the education and learning institution is an understanding of the knowledge being transferred. The student should be able to apply the little bits of knowledge in the subjects they are interested in to the modern day situations

The child is likely to find the mainstream class lesson approach boring and uninteresting. The teacher therefore has a duty to stimulate and motivate the focus of individualized talents and skills into the Childs learning menu to ensure that in as much as they learn all other subjects they develop an interest in a single line of interest. This allows the student to see the value of the learning process.

The double intelligence approach is of little use in providing a tentative solution to the problem of diversity in student’s interests in society. It however offers an explanation for the diversities in the children’s interests that may not necessarily be congratulated and recognized by the rigid education curriculum.

It also plays a very important role in offering a perspective for curriculum formulation of the curriculum and the adjustment of the curriculum to embrace the situation as it is. Education systems have a complex interactive relationship with the environment and society.

This is bond to have a great bearing on the individual student’s interest and focus. In the same measure the society is expected to influence the trends in the educational policy and commitment. The curriculum is a rigid mechanism that seeks to control the volatile and aggressively changing classroom creating a necessary lack of fit. This can however be embraced by adopting a more flexible approach to assessment of children in the context of the existing societal influence.

Creativity

From a Childs rights perspective, whatever prevents children from education is essentially and solely the teachers’ social and professional responsibility. Teaching and education in a strict sense does not only mean the technical exercise within a classroom. It includes an interactive and involving engagement process that requires the teacher should make an attempt at reaching out to children in the community indiscriminately technically as part of their responsibility as the general umbrella of adults and citizens.

Even more compelling research indicates that it is through this kind of outreach the the best brains have been natured and motivated to produce high potential results. The curriculum as it is a present a rather conservative stands that is rigid to chance and creative thinking. The buck therefore stops with the teacher in sustaining a high level of interest in the subject.

As it is there are several other factors besides the teachers input that fuel or extinguish creativity in the class room scene. A teenager who bears a great interest in science may lose that interest if they do not have the courage to stand by such an interest. The society seems to have a ready and set trend that a student is supposed to follow to succeed in the educational environment. Deviation from this prescribed line attracts a great deal of ridicule and reproach.

The teenager who has an interest in science has to convince the parents, the brother, the class teacher and even his counselor that they are actually willing to pursue the field. The society’s setup is such that the child has to convince all these individuals to succeed in receiving their support in the quest for the creative interest (Gartin et al, 2002).

Characteristically the teacher is the final authority in as far as the relevance and viability of the Childs intentions. The teacher is considered as an expert in the field and therefore is relied on by the other members of the social divide. A great cause of dropout in many schools is the lack of interest in the subjects that are offered in the institution.

This could mean that the child has a specific creative interest in a particular subject that is not either not offered in the institution or has been discouraged from pursuing the subject (Tomlinson, 1996). Half the time a child will not mind undertaking other courses as long as they receive the necessary assistance and support in their subject of interest.

The historical contention in research and practice has suggested that performance is the most appropriate and viable predictor of future performance. This position however is not all inclusive since there are times when it fails seriously. Aside from the performance measure there is a need to evaluate the individual’s interest and self image in the determination of the chances of success of the individual in future.

Conclusion

The objective of this paper was to establish the connection if any between the teachings practices and the diversity in the teaching practices adopted by the various learning institutions.

To put the research question into perspective the paper has engaged four challenges that fall in the line of the teaching practice in the modern day education scene. In the process it has also engaged the length of participation that the learning institution should commit its staff in the face of diversity and the effective delivery of knowledge to the individual challenged children.

There exists a great connection between the teaching practice and the method of instruction in the classroom and the performance and receptiveness of a challenged child to education (Vaugn, Bos and Schumm 2003). There i.e. also an invalidly irrelevance relationship between language specifically the English language and the success of the challenged child. The inclusion approach is a feasible method of education that is both economical but also effective in the preparation of the child to the situation in society beyond the school life.

Inadvertently there is a great obligation that rests on the teacher and instructor in ensuring that the children with special needs receive proper instruction in whichever setup that they may be. The proponents of the exclusion approach who are mainly parents also need to evaluate the macro benefits of inclusion as opposed to the invisible micro benefits of the same.

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