Diversity of Education

The first proficiency looks at the educators’ approaches to learning and performance. The educators understand and identify different approaches in developing proficiencies in learning and performances among students. Approaches included different learning styles and performance modes. These approaches facilitated learning instructions to help learners improve their performance strengths as a basis for growth. In the 9th grade English class, the researcher observed that there was nothing on the wall. However, there were active participation and discussions among the learners. The teacher’s approach to learning and performance was student-centered. The teacher acted as a facilitator while the students taught one another. The use of the fishbowl method allowed learners to observe, and inculcate social interactions. The classroom is efficient, productive, and engaging. There is also the use of the Cornell note-taking method. The teacher sets the standard by giving the class the ideas and goals of thought-proving discussion and then monitors learning through comments in different groups.

This proficiency focuses on educators. The educator demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of exceptionality in learning. The teacher gave students opportunities to give their opinions regarding the Walmart controversy through debates and discussions. The teacher changes his approach from a master-apprentice to near-peer to assess if hesitant learners learned anything with a mission of engaging them.

In most cases, educators are aware of the needs and issues concerning English language learning and are familiar with strategies to support their learning. Some of the strategies include originality in a task and language, use of the content, keenness to learner differences, use of elements of schema theory, and use of the higher-order thinking skills.

Educators understand the role of individual students’ experiences, talents, and prior learning impacts on learning. At the same time, factors such as language, culture, family, and community values also have a role to play in influencing individuals’ learning and performance. “The pluralism of the twentieth century has led to a diversity of teaching styles, and there is no clear research evidence that one approach is universally more effective than another, since context, subject matter, pupil ability, and prior experience will often influence both process and outcome. Indeed large-scale summaries of the relationship between process and product in classrooms have often stated precisely that” (Wragg, Haynes, and Chamberlin, 2005). The teacher allows students to discuss and utilize debate analogies based on their understandings. Teachers have exposed students to debates and discussions before for a self-reflective individual focus on accuracy and complexity of language use to relatively unmonitored, and spontaneous performance in lively debates contributes to students’ performance.

The last proficiency looks at the role of the educator in identifying, designing support instructions appropriate to students’ stages of learning development, learning styles, strengths, and needs. The teacher let all students speak at least once. The teacher allows less articulate students to compose and practice their presentations. The teacher also walks around to help them speak loudly, clearly, slowly, and to remember all their information. The teacher then summarizes by telling the learners to focus on clarity, organization, summary, and audience. The teacher also lets the students know of the obstacles they may encounter e.g. dismissal or negative feedback.

Interview with the school faculty highlighted that there is still much work for teachers to do on diversity learning with its set goals during the year. The faculty has begun coordinating classroom walkthroughs with administrative colleagues to target critical literacy.

Educational and community resources are useful in designing a program for improving literacy. First, there a special needs teachers/trainee teachers who work alongside class teachers. The special needs teachers should focus on working with less able children mainly in phonics and other activities. Special needs teachers also engage in extending the skills of more able students. Special needs teachers can assist in developing proficiencies relating to understanding and identifying differences in approaches to learning and performance. They also include different learning styles and performance modes and can facilitate instruction that helps use students’ strengths as the basis for growth (Irvin, Meltzer, and Dukes, 2007).

Schools have libraries where teachers and classroom assistants change students’ books. Provisions of varieties of books improve students’ proficiencies through learning different points of view on the same subject. For instance, the school library provides varieties of learning resources in aiding the acquisition of proficiencies through the use of different learning materials such as visual aids, literacy materials to enhance problem-solving skills, newspapers journals to improve journalistic skills, and transformation of traditional tales in improving comprehension and composition techniques.

This also assists educators with proficiency in creating awareness of the needs and issues relating to English language learners and using resources to familiarize learners with strategies to support their learning. There are also library techniques such as cataloging and the Dewey system.

There is also a classroom assistant who observes and undertakes students’ habits in the classroom. They also listen to children’s reading habits and language games especially in learners with low ability and provide other general classroom support. Teachers prefer to use the services of classroom assistants in children with reading difficulties, and assign them to specific students to monitor students reading, mastering knowledge of sounds and keywords for a given period. In this case, the educator uses the proficiency of identifying, designing, support instruction appropriate to students’ stages of development, learning styles, strengths, and needs (ACTFL, 1986).

Critical literacy through complications of exercises helps students to raise their proficiency to a higher level, enrich their speech patterns, and is essential for the development of skills for service applications. Critical literacy depends on the educators’ analysis of learners’ speech and the consequent introduction of speech improvements, which students then master. This develops students’ proficiency in the preparations of the papers and oral presentations skills on professional topics. Classroom walkthroughs enable students to place their group works around the walls of the classroom for reviews. Students have opportunities to ask questions, praise, and polish their works. Students provide support and help to other students as they move around the classroom. Students also fill evaluation forms with kind and supportive words. In case of any confusion in the evaluation forms, student groups ask questions for clarifications. Students then share ideas to improve on their works. Walkthroughs also involve reading, reviewing, discussion, remarking, and adopting classmate suggestions. After peer review, the teacher then goes around the classroom conferring with individual students regarding their evaluation reports. The teacher notes that individual students are at different points in developing proficiencies. Therefore, the teacher identifies gaps, weaknesses, strengths, and points of improvement in individual students (Moss and Lapp, 2010).

There are various reasons making people learn a language. These are; to be able to read the literature of a given language in its original form, to move, discover, and explore other cultures, and to obtain a better understanding of the world. Further, people also learn a language to meet and understand other people, expand their business opportunities, exchange ideas with other people, and overcome communication barriers. The majority learn a language to communicate effectively. Therefore, learning a language becomes service-learning working in linking the community. “People put their knowledge of the language at the center of their works and become editors, language teachers, interpreters, translators, writers, or members of the diplomatic team. In this regard, the educators understand how students’ learning depends on individual experiences, talents, and prior learning, as well as language, culture, family, and community values” (Leaver and Shekhtman, 2004).

This program for improving literacy has some limitations. Some parents may not be literate to take an active part in their children’s learning process. Therefore, such parents lack the technical know-how of grammar to guide their children.

Parents whose children attend schools in multicultural areas and whose native language is not English may not participate in the classroom helping. Their beliefs and withdrawals can become obstacles to involvement. At the same time, a lack of congruence between a teacher’s and a parent’s method and expectation may create frustrations and tensions in both home and school. Parents may not approve of some reading schemes or other books.

Some teachers may experience pressure from parents who want their children to read every day. The emphasis on reading may make a teacher fix a quick reading time in cases where text decoding is a paramount practice. Time constraint also prevents children from exploring and understanding the text.

References

ACTFL. (1986). ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. New York: American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Inc.

Irvin, J.L., Meltzer, J. and Dukes, M.S. (2007). Taking Action on Adolescent Literacy: An Implementation Guide for School Leaders. New York: Routledge.

Leaver, B.L. and Shekhtman, B. (2004). Developing Professional-Level Language Proficiency. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Moss, B. and Lapp, D. (2010). Teaching New Literacies in Grades 4–6: Resources for 21st-Century Classrooms. New York: The Guilford Press.

Wragg, E.C., Haynes, G.S. and Chamberlin, R.P. (2005). Improving Literacy in the Primary Schools. New York: Taylor & Francis.