Accommodating lessons to meet different Students needs:
Students achieve at different
levels and this must be taken into consideration by all teachers.
Students differ in their knowledge, skills, motivations and predisposition's
towards what they are about to be taught. A teacher starting a
new lesson can usually assume that some students already know
a great deal about the lessons content, some know less but will
master the content early on and others might not be able to master
the content at all in the time given. Accommodating teaching to
student differences and student needs
is a fundamental problem in education. There have been several
attempts to deal with these problems.
Some countries attempt to deal
with this problem by testing students around the age of 10 or
12 years old and then assign them to different types of schools,
only one of which is meant to prepare students for higher education.
These systems have long been under attack and are changing in
some countries, but remain in others. Many other secondary schools
allow students (with the counsellors)
to choose the levels of their courses. Another method that is
used is the formation of reading groups within a classroom
that divide students into groups according to their level.
The problem of student differences
has even led to the suggestion of the use of complete individualized
instruction, which has been demonstrated using programs and computer
A common technique used is
mastery learning. The basic idea behind it is to make sure
that all students have learned the skills that they need before
moving onto the next level. It is based on the assumption that
almost every student can learn the essential skills in a curriculum,
and the teacher's job is to provide the instruction necessary
to make it come true. The biggest problem of mastery training
is how to provide instructional time to students who need it.
Students who failed to meet the pre-established criteria following
a lesson were given extra corrective instruction until they could
master the skills. It could be given outside of regular class
time such as recess or after school.
Some ways to give individualized instruction:
* Peer tutoring: Students can help one another learn. There
are two types of tutoring - cross age tutoring (an older student
tutors a younger) and same age tutoring (a student tutors a class
mate). The effects of peer tutoring have shown that this strategy
increases the achievement in both the student tutoring and being
tutored. In fact, tutoring can be more beneficial to the tutor
and is sometimes used to help older underachieving students to
perform better at their own subjects.
* Adult tutoring: This is one of the most effective instructional
strategies known, and it essentially solves the problem of appropriate
levels of instruction. However, the main draw back is
cost. To get around this volunteer tutors are used. Those that
are well supervised and have well-structured materials can have
an effect on children's performance.
Development & Education