The diversity of skills, talents, and interests of students that we serve in our schools requires a remarkable range of teachers’ time, resources and competence.
In order to accommodate the needs of students across many different levels of academic achievement, teachers have been encouraged to make an effort to differentiate their instruction.
However, teachers often struggle to implement differentiation in a sustainable manner – the effort to facilitate differentiation for one day is hard to routinize across multiple lessons. This course looks at easy-to-use strategies to acknowledge and accommodate student differences.
During the course, we will:
- Examine different strategies for making differentiation sustainable
- Identify and exploit entry points for differentiating instruction
- Develop and apply 'look fors' in effective differentiation.
Reluctant learners have the capacity to achieve more but lack either the confidence, interest, motivation or organizational skills to make the effort.
This course has been designed to help teachers develop and implement strategies, classroom structures and systems to improve reluctant learners' levels of academic interest, motivational drive and success orientation.
The design of the course is consistent with the view that "The students are not the problem. They are struggling with the problem." There are 3 core beliefs that drive the course:
- Every reluctant learner is struggling with an underlying challenge. They are not simply 'rude and disobedient' or 'lazy and talkative'.
- Students become victims of the challenges they cannot properly navigate. Failure to navigate personal, social and academic challenges cause students to become reluctant learners.
- How we see reluctant learners - whether as 'rude and disobedient' or as 'victims' of the challenges they cannot navigate will determine how we plan for them.
This 4-module course is offered primarily asynchronously (10 hours) with 2 hours of synchronous engagement.