Ensuring Equity in Learning

Students often feel left out and sad about not being involved in class discussions, Q & A sessions, etc. Usually, a few students dominate interactive sessions such as these; a few others attempt to get involved, while the rest remain quiet throughout. At Wells International School, teachers and students work together to deliberately and systematically provide equal opportunity to all. Teachers accomplish this through a variety of creative techniques. The following is one such example:

Step 1: Have every student’s name represented in a set – be creative!

Every student's name pasted on ice-cream sticks

Step 2: Put them all together in a cup – to allow easy access

Put them all in a cup

Step 3: Pose question(s) or present task(s) – e.g. “State a question by looking at this picture using any one of the following words.”

"State a question by looking at this picture..."

equity in learning

Step 4: Pick up a name, randomly

IMG_0420

Step 5: Call out student name and give him/her time to answer the question or perform the task

equity in learning

Step 6: Put the name out of the set/pile and use the rest of the names until everyone have had a chance to participate – for another round, put all the names back in the cup and start all over

Advantages:

  1. no one can say “no” or “I don’t know”
  2. everyone is happy- everyone gets equal opportunity
  3. no ill-feelings – teacher is fair to all students
  4. those who dominate learn to give others a chance
  5. those who shy away are gently “forced” to participate – no excuses
  6. great way to teach respect for each others’ answers and perspectives
  7. creation of positive learning environment that helps in overall learning

Acknowledgment:

Thanks to Mr. Neal Hawthorne (Homeroom Teacher), Ms. Kate (Teaching Assistant) and students of Grade 2 of Wells International School (Thong Lor Campus).

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