Creating an Inclusive ClassroomDiversity and Inclusion of All Adult Learners
Learning Outcomes:Students will be able to: Define Diversity Participate in activities that demonstrate understanding of diversity and inclusion in the classroom Identify strategies for accommodating diverse adult learners
Icebreaker: Human Scavenger HuntGo back to “Student Profiles” Forum in week one and findsomeone who: Lives in Brampton Has children Has a full time job Works in the dental field Has worked in their field for over 3 years Is new to online learning Is bilingual Is new to Moodle
Food for thought: Activity1 What did this tell you about the learners in this class? Share an experience you have had in training/education where your needs were not met. How can professors accommodate the different needs of students in their class room?
What is Diversity and how does it affect adult learningenvironments?As defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Diversity də-ˈvər-sə-tē, dī- is::the condition of having or being composed of differing elements : variety;especially: the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races orcultures) in a group or organization <programs intended to promote diversity inschools> (Merriam-Webster Dictionary , 2012)
Our Ontario, Did you know?• Canadians reported more than 200 different ethnic origins, and more than 100 languages.• 1 in 5 people in Canada was born in another country, the highest percentage it has been for 75 years• 32% of Canadians speak a language other than English at home• 28% of the population are immigrants, the highest percentage in the country**• Aboriginal population increased to 3.8% of total (from 3.3% in 2001)• More than 60 different Aboriginal languages are spoken in Canada**• 10% of the general population is estimated to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or• 13.5% of people in Ontario live with disabilities*• 1 in10 people in Canada have some degree of hearing loss (Canadian Hearing Society) (Statistics Canada, Census 2001)
Picture this: Gary is an instructor who has a class of 30 students with thefollowing students included (below), how can the instructor facilitate equal andfair learning experiences to all of them? Tamar: Of Brazilian descent, her knowledge base derives from traditional story-telling & cultural beliefs. Martha: Jean Claude: A 67 year-old retired teacher who An international student who had extensive experience working speaks English as a second in the field but no traditional language. approach to learning. Garry; Is facilitating a class for a diverse group of individuals Molly: Sohee: from across the learning A student with Attention spectrum, abilities & cultural A visual learner who Deficit Hyperactivity backgrounds. He is teaching a understands & processes Disorder & gets distracted Gen-ed class at the college information quickly. She easily in class. level which is open to has an MBA in Accounting different students from and a BSc in Computers. different programs for the first time.
Inclusion through Universal Instructional Design Universal Instructional Design is: Designing learning environments where the content is accessible to all learners regardless of learning style, age, background or learning ability. An approach that encourages those involved in the learning process to practice techniques that support UID principles at a pace and in a manner they can manage with success. (Jim Bryson, 2004)
Principles of Universal Design be accessible and fair, be flexible, provide flexibility in use, participation and presentation be straightforward and consistent , be explicit, information is explicitly presented and readily perceived be supportive, provide a supportive learning environment minimize unnecessary physical effort or requirements, learning space, ensure a learning space accommodates both students and instructional methods. (Jim Bryson, 2004)
Food for Thought: Activity 2 Watch the following video on YouTube, please remember to click the closed captioning button on the right side corner for more accessibility. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7eUf_7dZVM
Back to our case scenario, how can the instructor facilitate equal and fairlearning experiences to all learners? Tamar: Of Brazilian descent, her knowledge base derives from traditional story-telling & cultural beliefs. Martha: Jean Claude: A 67 year-old retired teacher An international student who who had extensive experience speaks English as a second working in the field but no language. traditional approach to learning. Garry; Is facilitating a class for a diverse group of Molly: Sohee: individuals from across the A visual learner who A student with Attention learning spectrum, abilities understands & Deficit Hyperactivity & cultural backgrounds. He processes information Disorder & gets distracted is teaching a Gen-ed class quickly. She has an MBA easily in class. at the college level which in Accounting and a BSc is open to different in Computers. students from different programs for the first time.
Students with Disabilities • Human Rights and the Duty to Accommodate – Accommodation is a shared responsibility. Everyone including the person with disability, should work to look for accommodation solutions together. – There is no set formula for accommodating people with disabilities. Even though some accommodations can benefit many people, you need to consider individual needs each time a person asks to be accommodated. A solution for one person may not work for someone else. (OHRC, 1999)
Accommodating Sohee• Sohee is a student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder & gets distracted easily in class.• Sohee is not alone, 10% of students have a disability (Sheridan, 2010)Learners with a ADHD benefit greatly from: – Referral to Accessible Learning Services to get accommodations such as Extra time on exams and sessions with a Learning Strategist – Preferential seating so they can pay attention in class – Assistive Technology such as recording lectures to review after class – Accessing extra notes from professors – Completing a learning style inventory to understand their strengths and challenges for example “Kolb‟s learning styles” – Different instructional strategies that incorporate hands-on learning – Using time management planners
English Language Learners• Based on a survey of immigrants who arrived in Canada between Oct 2000 and Sept 2001, 40% reported at least one problem with 27% identifying language barriers as the most serious obstacle (Chui, 2003)• Within any training program it is important to acknowledge and support the needs of second language learners (Hancock & Beach, 2011). It is also important to assess progress, evaluate level of learning throughout the course, and provide regular feedback. Instructors should: – assess if the student understands how the task needs to be completed, and – gage if the student understands why it is important (“Breaking the Language Barriers”, 2000)
Accommodating Jean-Claude• Jean-Claude is originally from France and speaks English as a second language. He is concerned he will not be able to understand concepts used throughout the course and might struggle to keep up with his classmates.Learners with language barriers benefit greatly from: – Clear framework of course standards – Conversation circles – Referral to international office and other support services – Clearly-defined skills to be learnt – Regular assessment and clear feedback of progress – varied learning formats (“Breaking the Language Barriers”, 2000)
Educational Backgrounds Mini-Survey• To understand how a student in Molly‟s situation feels, A short survey comprised of 7 questions was completed on 3 different individuals with different educational backgrounds and with high averages. The questions are as follows: 1) After you learned the information and understood it, did you feel bored or restless having to listen to it being repeated for others? 2) Did repeating the information make you feel less motivated to attend classes or even learn? 3)Would you have liked to have been challenged further as a student? 4)Did helping others (if you had to perform that task) help you to remember the information better because you were explaining it to someone else? 5) Did your educational background that enable you to understand what was being taught to you better?
Results3.5 32.5 2 No1.5 Yes 10.5 0 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
Accommodating Molly• Those interviewed for the survey have similar traits like Molly: a visual learner who understands & processes information quickly. She has an MBA in Accounting and a BSc in Computers. Molly has a low motivation for learning because she does not feel challenged in the classroom.• The survey proved helpful in understanding students that find themselves in Molly‟s situation. Based on the responses, educational background can be helpful in a classroom situation, particularly when others are struggling in an area that is the expertise of the student. The student becomes engaged with their peers, they take on an advisory role and by helping others they retain the information taught in the lecture.Learners with advanced educational background benefit greatly from: – Using problem based learning, where the trainer/teacher would provide the information needed to solve the problem, and then create a problem that would encourage the student(s) to use the knowledge gained in the classroom (Kenzie, 1998, p.47). – Engaging in a task that is impossible to do by oneself. The task should evoke others to contribute and share different ideas (Grace, 2009, pg. 164). Sharing ideas and different points of view will encourage learning and critical thinking . – Fostering critical thinking, which allow students to develop their ability to “ identify central issues and assumptions in an argument, recognize important relationships, make correct inferences from the data […] and evaluate evidence or authority.” ( tsui ,2007, page 201 ) – Being included in group work which would place Molly in an advisory role. It helps to hear “others‟ ideas and receiving immediate feedback on proposed solutions stimulated group members‟ understanding” (Kenzie,1998, p.46)
Accommodating Martha• Martha is a 67 year-old retired teacher who had extensive experience working in the field but no traditional approach to learning.Mature Learners benefit greatly from: – A respectful environment which involves reflective discussions, with the mature learners acting as mediators, thus encouraging a positive outcome in this “psychological” level of Maslow‟s hierarchy. – Clear guidelines on class expectations – Optional computer and technology-based tutorials that will assist mature students in developing these skills needed. – Opportunities to offer mentoring sessions in order to foster acceptance. In light of Knowles‟ theory, connecting past experiences to current material will make the learning experience more meaningful (Russell, 2006, p.350). – Handouts and well-organized written material to supplement any use of audio-visual material or other contents presented without print.
Cultural Diversity „Refers to identities such as race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender and other dimensions of difference derived from membership in groups that are socio-culturally distinct.” (Foldy, 2004) There are four main reasons that cultural diversity can affect group dynamics and learning: 1. Individuals are more comfortable when they are surrounded by people they perceive to be more like them. 2. Group members come with different life experiences which shape values, approaches and perspectives. 3. Group members in the minority are more aware of their identity of being different from the „norm‟. 4. Diverse groups may have different dynamics because of the power differences associated with cultural differences.
Accommodating TamarTamar is 45 years old and originally from Brazil. She arrived in Canada 10 yearsago but still has a Brazilian accent. She was educated in a small village school andmuch of her knowledge comes from information passed down through story-telling. Tamar is struggling with feeling accepted in the larger group andidentifies herself as a minority. Her feels that her accent and different knowledgeexcludes her from the class and is having a hard time contributing.Learners with diverse backgrounds benefit greatly from: – Integration of Diversity Perspectives, diverse groups who hold the perspective that cultural identity is a resource for learning and growth are more likely to learn from difference, resulting in higher performance. – Including ways to test one‟s advocacies and attributions therefore encouraging the exploration into why others view things the way they do. – Using multidisciplinary examples that build on the strengths of diversity and inclusion – Promoting discourse within the classroom to acknowledge difference in a productive and constructive manner which will allow for the exploration of other perspectives.
Tips for Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment forall Adult Learners First Class • Discuss Support Services available to students: – International Office – Accessible Learning Services – Counselling – ESL class – Tutoring – Opportunities for engagement and leadership such as peer mentoring and volunteering • Provide students with school policies and a detailed course outline, including: – course objectives, skills to be learnt – due dates for tests and assignments – topics to be covered each class – a definitions list of key terms/concepts that will be covered (students are encouraged to add to this list throughout the course). – assignment details, and marking schemes will be provided and clearly explained to students well in advance of due dates. • Ask students to complete a short questionnaire regarding: – motivations for taking the course, and goals – any issues/questions of concern – learning preferences. This information is used to design/modify subsequent lesson plans and exercises to meet the specific needs of students.
Instructional Strategies• Include a variety of teaching and learning formats including: – lectures and PowerPoint slides – use of audio and visual examples of the application of information learned (eg-video clip, on-site visit/observation) – hands on practice using the information learned (eg-case studies, role playing, simulation exercises) – group work• Throughout the course: – Provide handouts of course material (eg-PowerPoint slides) are provided to students at the beginning of each class (and include references for further self-study, if desired). – At the end of each class students have the opportunity to identify any terms/concepts, theories, and practices that they are having difficulties with, and would like clarified. There is time allocated to addressing these items at the beginning of each class.
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