Chapter 10 is part of a larger discussion on issues such as equity in education and closing the achievement gap in education with particular reference to science education. I think the chapter has made me more aware of the diversity in classrooms and why it matters in terms of…
ficant because it is teachers who become responsible to address the gap by adopting a range of suitable instructional strategies in the science classes. It points out the need for science teachers like me to understand the reasons behind achievement gap in science and address those while designing and delivering instruction.
Not only to achieve equity in science education but also to make my teaching effective, I should be following some of the useful suggestions given in the chapter. For example, even though the rule of the thumb is that I must be using all best practices that have been researched and proven effective, if I do not differentiate instruction, it will be like treating students as a homogenous group than to make it an inclusive classroom by addressing the diverse needs. In order to do it, I must take into consideration the individual and special learning needs of my students. I used to wonder whether I must be lowering expectations for some students, but I learnt from the chapter that it does not help. Instead, I must make the classes more supportive. The chapter talks about several ways in which support can be provided, such as providing additional time to complete tasks. Learning and equipping myself with a range of useful instructional support strategies will certainly help me accommodate various needs of my students.
Learning needs are not limited to only those who are usually categorised as underachievers due to disabilities, but also extend to gifted ones. I learnt that I must identify such students as well while doing an assessment of learning needs in my class. I should be approaching them differently by setting more abstract or challenging tasks allowing more room for exploration, at the same time not ignoring the fundamentals they should learn as part of the curricular goals. The chapter also points out the importance of being aware of the cultural needs of students and their level of language proficiency. I should take these into account ...
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