Diversity is both a challenge and opportunity for a teacher. In a heterogeneous classroom, it is typical to encounter different personalities among children, and alongside with these differences is the challenge for the teacher to encourage them to learn…
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Diversity is both a challenge and opportunity for a teacher. In a heterogeneous classroom, it is typical to encounter different personalities among children, and alongside with these differences is the challenge for the teacher to encourage them to learn. This difficult task is at times neglected by the teachers, thinking that their primary obligation is to teach, only. However, the real scenario contradicts this notion. Since real teaching cannot be employed without student participation, it is the teacher’s task to set her students in the class, in a way that they are motivated to listen and ready to learn. On the other hand, external and internal factors can hinder this process. Using published case studies, reports, books, and educational research, this paper will discuss the challenges of teachers in deploying effective teaching-learning activities and possible teaching strategies which may relieve the problem. Issues relating to the physical/neurological and social problems may cripple a child’s ability to learn; and while there is no common teaching strategy applicable to all learners, it is still the teacher’s task to inculcate learning amidst factors that can serve as an obstacle in fulfilling it, through innovation of the known strategies and its application to different learning situation. Part I: Challenges of Teachers in Employing Effective Learning Physiological and Neurological Factors to Hinder Successful Learning Process The cross-disciplinary approach to the learning environment envisions the utilization of real world situations to solve complex problems is called authentic learning (Lombardi, 2007, p. 2). The role of the teacher in the 21st century plan for authentic learning is generally as a “facilitator” wherein the traditional discussion type’s purpose is only to give a brief knowledge to the children about an information. The rest of the stages are subject to the exploratory activities of the learners (please see figure 3 of appendix C). However, finding relevance to activities in connection with reality may not seem to be an easy task for all types of learners. The proliferation of special education substantiated the tremendous change with regard to the treatment of the so-called “invisible minority,” otherwise known as the disabled population. The term evolved in the turn of modern thoughts which are undiscriminating to various physical and mental conditions as reference of social productiveness. Nowadays, the disabled are acceptably known as “special people.” In the matters of education, it has been a continuing challenge for teachers of children with special needs to assist learning, though they have taken the necessary, proper education and training needed. The challenge resides within the maxim of education which mentions about the uniqueness of each learner, much so with the uniqueness of learners belonging to the special group. It is therefore imperative that before contemplating on the professional and moral obligations of the teacher, one must be able to answer the several “why’s” concerning the situation of these children. In the United Kingdom, there are an estimated 1.5 million people who have learning disabilities (Mencap, n.d.), and they are categorized according to the specific condition they posses. However, a common trait existing regardless of categories is their difficulty of information processing. This difficulty is the reason why they are generally separated from the mainstream learning groups. Common conditions which are directly associated with special education is autism and ADHD, and although it is not considered as a “learning disability,” dyslexia suffers children and becomes a major problem for teachers, all at the same time. In the case of Autism Because of the lack of information regarding this condition, it is more convenient to define it with the corresponding characteristics seen from individuals having this disorder. Rudy (2009) defined autism as one of
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