Diverse Learners

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A presentation about learner diversity in a community college/higher ed. context, and what that means for teaching, peer mentoring and providing learning support.

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Diverse Learners

  1. 1. Diverse Learners Keith Kirkwood June 2009
  2. 2. Dimensions of Learner Diversity • Social • Economic • Linguistic • Technological • Disability • Multi-literacies
  3. 3. Dimensions of Learner Diversity - Social • culture • race • gender • sexual orientation • religion • age • family relations
  4. 4. Dimensions of Learner Diversity - Economic • class • opportunity • employed/unemployed • immigration AP/MTV Poll: Financial worries, stress and depress on college campus, May 2009, retrieved from: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/specials/interactives/wdc/ap_mtvu_poll_0509/index.html?SITE=YAHOO&SECTION=HOME
  5. 5. Dimensions of Learner Diversity - Linguistic • L1 • non-standard L1 dialects • L2 • LOTE at home, with friends
  6. 6. Dimensions of Learner Diversity - Technological • digital natives • technophobes • gamers • digital sophistication (critical analysis, discrimination, information management) • digital divide
  7. 7. Dimensions of Learner Diversity - Disability • physical • mental • depression • nutritional • attention/concentration • home/community situation AP/MTV Poll: Financial worries, stress and depress on college campus, May 2009, retrieved from: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/specials/interactives/wdc/ap_mtvu_poll_0509/index.html?SITE=YAHOO&SECTION=HOME
  8. 8. Dimensions of Learner Diversity - Multi-literacies • textual • aural • video • virtual • the ability to critically analyze
  9. 9. Learner diversity is intimately tied to learning and teaching styles
  10. 10. Learning Styles and pedagogies • Traditional instruction: Face-to-face and one-to-one • Narrative: storytelling and anecdote • The lecture paradigm: one-to-many • Constructivist approach: many-to-many • E-learning: the networked environment • Situated learning: learning in the workplace • Informal learning, informal teaching • Social learning: communities of practice • Peer-learning: non-authoritative teaching
  11. 11. A strategy of diverse pedagogies in teaching accommodates diverse learning styles There is no ‘normal’ or standard learner; thus, to speak of deficit or remedial measures is missing the point.
  12. 12. The individual learner is a complex entity connected to an ecosystem of influences. Our role in learning support is to provide a safe and nurturing environment where the holistic learner and the learning community are foremost.
  13. 13. The holistic learner We support a learner when we: • take the time to listen • show interest in their story • consider the several variables that make up an individual • work with their preferred learning style(s)
  14. 14. The learning community We create community when we encourage: • campus events and involvement • students helping other students • cultural pride and celebration of diversity • a strongly networked virtual learning commons • active engagement with local communities • awareness of the global community

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