Saturday, 1 January 2011

Equality and diversity and ways to promote inclusion with learners

Equality and diversity has to do with creating a fair society by treating people fairly and making them feel valued despite the differences in age, sex, colour,, race, religion and other considerations. These are protected by appropriate legislations like Equality Act (2006) Sex Discrimination Act (1995), Race Relations Act (1976), Special Education Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) 2001 etc. When I use teaching resources as a teacher in my class, I try as much as possible to use resources that can cater for all. For example, the resources that will meet the learning needs of gifted, average, below average students, and of course students with learning difficulties.
In the process of planning for equality, I make sure that the course documents: scheme of work, lesson plan, initial assessment, and Individual learning plan (ILP), take care of the individual needs of my students. I also make sure that the environment for learning is conducive to students by making sure that every student’s safety and wellbeing is assured.

In delivering equality, I ensure that time is allocated during the induction of learners for information and discussion on equality and diversity, policies etc. I also make sure that the students and I (the teacher) set appropriate ground rules to govern the class. In my scheme of work and lesson plan, the learning styles of students e.g auditory, aural, visual and kinaesthetic are also taken into consideration in choosing the teaching methods to use in delivering my lessons. Because I know students are not the same, any differences in them are identified, so as to monitor effectively and remove appropriately learner barriers through determining what learning styles the students use as underscored by Felder and Silverman (1987). For example, I find that the visual learners in my class are often quiet and prefer learning by looking at pictures and texts. To this end, within the lesson, I find myself making room for demonstrating things more to this group through the use of film or other visual means. For the aural students who are easily distracted and don’t fancy writing that much because they are more interested in trying new things and talking in my class, I also make allowance for discussing more with them the topic and allow them to contribute. For my kinaesthetic students who like to move their bodies and manipulating things with their hands, I put them in the lesson equation by introducing role play, ice breakers, and demonstrations into the lesson to take care of them. The truth is, this is not easy for me as a teacher, but because I have to be fair to all, I have to make room for the learning styles of my students to get them on board and be interested in the lesson. When I assess my students, I make sure my assessment is fair to all, and that it is not discriminatory against anyone. All learners in my class are assessed with appropriate assessment methods through differentiation. In my class, during my teaching, I try as much as possible to mind my use of words so as not to offend any section of the students in class either by sounding discriminatory or inappropriate. It is also a part of my duty to ensure that discussions and comments within the class by students are managed so as for them not to engage in the use discriminatory and inappropriate language.

My way of taking care of diversity through lesson plan and resources in the class is to try to include it within teaching, by making reference and or using illustrations from traditions, cultures, religions and exposing the deceptive dangers of stereotyping. Other topics that foster equality are also used indirectly in my class to point to the fact that though humans can be different in orientation, perception, and beliefs, that it is imperative for them to respect one another for sanctity and the common good of humanity. Also knowing that diversity in learners in a class can be harnessed for advantage, I deliberately ask students in my class to relate answers to questions to their peculiar experiences, whether be it cultural, traditional, religious etc so that the class can be endowed with rich knowledge from different dimensions or angles.

As for students that need extra resources to enable them access information, they are helped by me directly or indirectly by referring them to the specific bodies like victim support, child line, Drug line, Samaritans, NHS Direct etc that can be of help to them. This type of intervention is likened to School Action Plus as obtainable in secondary schools and other education levels where the school collaborates with outside agencies and professionals to make up for what the school does not have the expertise to cope with in dealing with peculiar difficulties, problems and anxieties of students. Within the school however, (i.e School Action), for those who need extra help, there are mentors, first aiders, counsellors and other support staff in the school to help out. All these are put in place to make sure that there is fairness as regards equality and diversity in the school.

Equality Act, 2006. Available at:
[Accessed on Oct 29 2010]
Felder, R.M. and Silverman, L.K., 1987. “Learning Styles and Teaching Styles in Engineering Education,” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, New York
Race Relations Act, 1976. Available at:
[Accessed 26 Oct 2010]
Special Education Needs and Disability Act 2001. Available at:
[Accessed on 27 Oct 2010]
The Sex Discrimination Act, 1975. Available at:
[Accessed 25 Oct 2010]

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I am currently doing my mom's HW in connection with the PTLLS theory questions and I find your blog posts really helpful as a guide :) Thank you!!