Programme 7 ~ Teaching and learning
Teaching and learning At the heart of inclusive education is good-quality, learner-centred teaching. Inclusive education ensures that children are present in school. It also ensures they participate in a range of activities in school, and achieve, academically and socially. Inclusive education involves ensuring that children are not just in class, but are interested, interacting, and thinking. When I was studying to be a teacher and when the lecturers were teaching, sometimes I thought if they taught me in another way it would be more interesting. So when I came here to teach I started doing it in this interactive way. It is very beneficial as I personally know. The children gain from learner-centred education because they have the chance to create critical thinking so they are not doing everything with books. The students are no longer afraid of the teacher, so they can remember the facts in detail because they can think freely. In the future they will have critical thinking skills and it will benefit their learning step by step. One of the biggest barriers to making education more inclusive is the use of teacher-centred approaches and rote learning. Not many children can learn effectively this way. What can you do? Any person who is successful in life they always will remember the one teacher that motivated them, that believed in them. In each lesson, you can use a variety of different activities. Plan to use activities that involve looking, listening, talking, touching, and moving. This variety of activities means you can adapt each lesson to suit different children’s interests and abilities. Make lessons fun. Start by being a happy, smiling teacher. If teachers have a smiling face and good will to us, we feel good. When we are in class, the teacher plays with us, we are happy, our brains are clear, so it makes our learning more effective. Sometimes a good teacher tells us some stories from outside and tells us jokes and we feel good. They play games with us and these energise our minds and we understand more. Children are more likely to feel included if the subjects they learn seem relevant to their lives. There are lots of ways to bring real life into the classroom. You can use objects that are found at home. You can use objects found in the environment. Project-based learning helps to link lessons with real life. Today’s activity is about the environment and the children are going to learn in different ways by doing activities about the environment and how things happen in their daily lives. It will include measurements. They will combine this together into a topic: what happens in daily life, natural cycles, and what happens around us. We learned and we now understand about how time works. We understand how trees and vegetation grow. By learning this way we know more about time, different plant types and cleanliness, and all in the same lesson. We have had a combined lesson today which included the elements of handicrafts, art and nature. Three lessons in one. Since it is autumn now, the items we crafted now relate to the topic of autumn. Children made pictures out of fabric, cartons and natural materials, such as leaves and sunflower seeds. You can also use role play to bring a lesson to life. You can use spaces outside the classroom to make lessons feel more connected to the community or environment. If they go outside they have the chance to refresh their minds. If they stay in class, and the teacher talks all the time, they will be sleepy. Some children learn better when they work together in groups or in pairs. During the day, give children opportunities to work together, as well as on their own. Group work means children will work together to share their ideas to create something good. The group work will also allow the children to accept one another. Because there are disabled children in the group, they can better understand each other. The group work will also allow the weaker children to do better. The group work provides pleasure for the children, and I, to be honest, find pleasure in watching the children develop and achieve something. I’ve adopted the system which allows a child to develop, to accept the others, to integrate socially speaking, and hence to communicate. So, this really helps the children. The children need to be active and to be their own teacher. Our role is to guide them in their work. They are the main actor in their education. Children learn a lot from discussing with each other. You can use peer learning methods to bring variety into lessons. One of the biggest resources in a school setting are the other children. There is a lot of value in promoting peer learning because children are such a super resource. Peer learning can be particularly useful in large classes. Use text books creatively. You can encourage children to read together from books and discuss what is in the book. You can pair a child who reads and understands well, with one who need more support. Provide individual support to children who need it. Spend time observing the class to see who may need extra help. Giving children feedback that is positive and encouraging, even if they have got something wrong, can help them feel included and motivated to learn.