Inhoud blog
  • Waarom leerlingen steeds slechter presteren op Nederlandse scholen; en grotendeels ook toepasselijk op Vlaams onderwijs!?
  • Waarom leerlingen steeds slechter presteren op Nederlandse scholen; en grotendeels ook toepasselijk op Vlaams onderwijs!?
  • Inspectie in Engeland kiest ander spoor dan in VlaanderenI Klemtoon op kernopdracht i.p.v. 1001 wollige ROK-criteria!
  • Meer lln met ernstige gedragsproblemen in l.o. -Verraste en verontwaardigde beleidsmakers Crevits (CD&V) & Steve Vandenberghe (So.a) ... wassen handen in onschuld en pakken uit met ingrepen die geen oplossing bieden!
  • Schorsing probleemleerlingen in lager onderwijs: verraste en verontwaardigde beleidsmakers wassen handen in onschuld en pakken uit met niet-effective maatregelen
    Zoeken in blog

    Beoordeel dit blog
      Zeer goed
      Goed
      Voldoende
      Nog wat bijwerken
      Nog veel werk aan
     
    Onderwijskrant Vlaanderen
    Vernieuwen: ja, maar in continuïteit!
    30-09-2014
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.nderwijs. Harry Webb over differentiatiesprookjes: The burden of differentiation

    Harry Webb over differentiatiesprookjes in het onderwijs Blog, 27 juni 2014

     I was interested to read Liz Truss’s article in the Telegraph yesterday (see here). Yet again, she made clear her support for the use of good quality textbooks, something that I have been promoting for some time (see here and here). And she did so on similar grounds to my own; they enable great efficiencies: Instead of teachers reinventing the wheel, designing new resources all the time, a good textbook can allow a teacher to focus on actually teaching.

    Many of you, conditioned into the ‘textbooks are bad’ myth, won’t agree with me. If you believe that a teacher’s job is to facilitate learning then the selection and production of resources such as worksheets, card sorts and the rest will seem central to that. But remember, other conceptions of the role of the teacher are available. A teacher can be seen as an instructor, a guide and an explainer of things.

    In Siegfried Engelmann’s form of Direct Instruction, this distinction is made plain (see here). The qualities required in a teacher are not the same as those required in an instructional designer and so the roles are separate; designers plan the sequencing of lessons and resources whilst teachers deliver them. And remember just how extraordinarily successful Engelmann’s programmes have been.

    So I am glad that this view is being given some prominence.

    I am also interested that Truss links these ideas to those surrounding lesson planning and differentiation and I think these last points are worth further discussion.

    Theories

    Many of us will have been exhorted to differentiate our lessons at some point. To a degree, this seems reasonable and I suspect that most teachers will have an extension activity available for those who grasp the ideas quickly. Many will also have support materials for those who struggle although, in reality, this support is often more likely to come in the form of increased teacher attention.

    We need to ask on what basis decisions about differentiation are being made.

    Indeed, students do vary in their ability. Just how much of this is down to innate intelligence and how much is related to prior knowledge (and thus the quality of previous teaching) is, at present, unclear. The two factors obviously interact and, whatever the balance, it has to contain a little of both. However, determining this balance is still quite important.

    For instance, if students are behind their peers mainly due to prior knowledge then we should simultaneously seek to improve teaching at lower levels – making elementary school teaching the first line of defence – as well as instituting interventions to help them catch-up. If it is more about innate intelligence then we may decide that some areas of study are just not suitable for certain students. I dislike the implications of the latter approach and this is why a bristle when people call for more vocational routes for children who ‘aren’t academic’.

    One of the key proponents of ‘differentiated instruction’ is Carol Ann Tomlinson. She favours a model where students are often grouped and the groups then carry-out different tasks (see here). This avoids the unmanageable process of every student completing a different task (the logical conclusion of differentiation). Yet it still allows for difference whilst having the added bonus – as some would see it – of promoting cooperative learning. Tomlinson also promotes differentiation according to ‘learner profiles’ which includes the notion of learning styles; so it’s not just about ability. I do not accept the evidence for learning styles i.e. that if students are taught through a preferred mode or ‘style’ then they will learn better. However, Tomlinson would dispute the value of such evidence (see here). For her, it seems as if it is less about sound scientific tests of efficacy and more about recognising student difference.

    The appeal of learning styles is the same as the appeal of multiple intelligences and is reflected in those who call for parity of esteem between vocational and academic education. All of these theories posit that students are different but that these differences are not in any hierarchy;  they are not as a result of different levels of knowledge or intelligence. Instead, we are to accept that ‘kinaesthetic’ learners are no better or worse than ‘auditory’ learners or whatever; they are just different. Although I admire the egalitarian impulse behind such notions, I see no evidence to support the existence of categories based upon anything other than knowledge, intelligence and perhaps physical coordination.

    Practical Difficulties

    The burden that the forms of differentiation promoted by Tomlinson and others places upon teachers is extreme. For each lesson, instead of selecting a relevant resource from a textbook, instead of even preparing a resource for our students, we are required to select or prepare multiple resources. Personally, I would not select a mathematics resource without thinking about the common misconceptions and difficulties that are likely to arise. A teacher in the humanities may spend some time considering what a high quality response to a question might look like. So we would need to multiply this conceptual planning work by the number of different resources. Time will be consumed.

    In class, the teacher will then need to administer the running of the groups (which will take time away from teaching), monitor the work of the groups (because students don’t always work very hard when the teacher’s attention is focused elsewhere) and attend to instructing the different groups in their different tasks. We are therefore choosing quite short periods of targeted instruction over more extensive instruction that is not as targeted. If you believe that teacher instruction should be limited – that teachers should talk less – then this may seem reasonable. But where is the evidence to support such a view? If you limit teacher talk in this way then you limit the number of different ways that a teacher can explain a concept, cycling back and forth between the well-established and the new. You limit teacher-student interactions.

    We also have the problem of targeting. How do we know that our groupings accurately reflect what our students most need? We may use assessment data but what, exactly, does that tell us? Often, we may have a view as to the way that students should progress in their understanding of a subject but I suspect that real learning is a lot messier than that with much looping backward and forward and with some ideas more fully developed and connected than others. If we get this wrong, we run the risk of misjudging things and inhibiting learning.

    I suspect that in many classrooms, attempts at this kind of differentiation leave a lot to be desired. Done well, perhaps it has its advantages, but the practical difficulties suggest that such a teaching style is a lot harder to get right than a more whole-class approach. We should not underestimate the damage that this does to our profession: Those teachers who do as they are told end up exhausted and probably teach less effectively than they could. Those teachers who ignore the exhortations feel guilty and constantly worry about being found out.

    Moral Dangers

    Let us return briefly to the evidence that we use to differentiate. I strongly suspect that in England, black boys are more often identified as ‘kinaesthetic’ learners than individuals from other social groupings. How would we differentiate for such a learner? Well, I suspect we would get them to move around a lot more and require them to sit still and write a lot less. We might even excuse some of their behaviour on the basis that they are kinaesthetic learners who will struggle if not appropriately catered for.

    Why is this a problem? Black boys need the same things that every other child needs; a rigorous education and clear boundaries. In fact, evidence is emerging that a shift in England towards a more academic education has had a positive impact for black students (see here).

    Where moral dangers and practicalities collide

    There is one area where both of these dangers play out in conflicting ways. This is when students are selected into a class based upon their ability and it comes with various names such as ‘ability grouping’, ‘setting’, and ‘tracking’.

    For some – but definitely not all – subjects such as mathematics, student arrive at secondary school with manifest differences in ability. Some students in a year or grade level may be as much as five years ahead of others. Again, how much of this could be mitigated by a better elementary education is unclear but it is likely to be due to a mixture of intelligence and knowledge factors.

    If these students are then placed in the same class you will either need to differentiate, with all of the practical problems that this entails, or you will be teaching to a level that is inappropriate to most students in the class. The case for ability grouping is therefore clear.

    However, on what evidence do you place students in the lower classes? What happens to them there? Is there a poverty of expectation where students are given simplistic busy work rather than being challenged to improve? Are these classes allocated to new teachers or less effective teachers? I think that this is a real danger and one that must be addressed. I suspect that this is why the data on ability grouping strategies is equivocal.

    Part of the problem is that we are too accepting of such divergence; so accepting that we allow it to grow to monster proportions where early intervention – using explicit teaching strategies – may have helped. However, I also do not think that underperformance can be effectively tackled by having less able students marginalised in a mixed ability class. Instead, these lower ability classes should be the target of sustained attention. They should get the best teachers, the heads of department and the senior leaders and they should have clear progress targets base upon standardised tests.

    As educators, we need to focus on bringing all students up to a common standard rather than on perpetuating and excusing wide variations in what students know and can do.




    Geef hier uw reactie door
    Uw naam *
    Uw e-mail *
    URL
    Titel *
    Reactie * Very Happy Smile Sad Surprised Shocked Confused Cool Laughing Mad Razz Embarassed Crying or Very sad Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes Wink Exclamation Question Idea Arrow
      Persoonlijke gegevens onthouden?
    (* = verplicht!)
    Reacties op bericht (0)



    Archief per week
  • 30/04-06/05 2018
  • 23/04-29/04 2018
  • 16/04-22/04 2018
  • 09/04-15/04 2018
  • 02/04-08/04 2018
  • 26/03-01/04 2018
  • 19/03-25/03 2018
  • 12/03-18/03 2018
  • 05/03-11/03 2018
  • 26/02-04/03 2018
  • 19/02-25/02 2018
  • 12/02-18/02 2018
  • 05/02-11/02 2018
  • 29/01-04/02 2018
  • 22/01-28/01 2018
  • 15/01-21/01 2018
  • 08/01-14/01 2018
  • 01/01-07/01 2018
  • 25/12-31/12 2017
  • 18/12-24/12 2017
  • 11/12-17/12 2017
  • 04/12-10/12 2017
  • 27/11-03/12 2017
  • 20/11-26/11 2017
  • 13/11-19/11 2017
  • 06/11-12/11 2017
  • 30/10-05/11 2017
  • 23/10-29/10 2017
  • 16/10-22/10 2017
  • 09/10-15/10 2017
  • 02/10-08/10 2017
  • 25/09-01/10 2017
  • 18/09-24/09 2017
  • 11/09-17/09 2017
  • 04/09-10/09 2017
  • 28/08-03/09 2017
  • 21/08-27/08 2017
  • 14/08-20/08 2017
  • 07/08-13/08 2017
  • 31/07-06/08 2017
  • 24/07-30/07 2017
  • 17/07-23/07 2017
  • 10/07-16/07 2017
  • 03/07-09/07 2017
  • 26/06-02/07 2017
  • 19/06-25/06 2017
  • 05/06-11/06 2017
  • 29/05-04/06 2017
  • 22/05-28/05 2017
  • 15/05-21/05 2017
  • 08/05-14/05 2017
  • 01/05-07/05 2017
  • 24/04-30/04 2017
  • 17/04-23/04 2017
  • 10/04-16/04 2017
  • 03/04-09/04 2017
  • 27/03-02/04 2017
  • 20/03-26/03 2017
  • 13/03-19/03 2017
  • 06/03-12/03 2017
  • 27/02-05/03 2017
  • 20/02-26/02 2017
  • 13/02-19/02 2017
  • 06/02-12/02 2017
  • 30/01-05/02 2017
  • 23/01-29/01 2017
  • 16/01-22/01 2017
  • 09/01-15/01 2017
  • 02/01-08/01 2017
  • 26/12-01/01 2017
  • 19/12-25/12 2016
  • 12/12-18/12 2016
  • 05/12-11/12 2016
  • 28/11-04/12 2016
  • 21/11-27/11 2016
  • 14/11-20/11 2016
  • 07/11-13/11 2016
  • 31/10-06/11 2016
  • 24/10-30/10 2016
  • 17/10-23/10 2016
  • 10/10-16/10 2016
  • 03/10-09/10 2016
  • 26/09-02/10 2016
  • 19/09-25/09 2016
  • 12/09-18/09 2016
  • 05/09-11/09 2016
  • 29/08-04/09 2016
  • 22/08-28/08 2016
  • 15/08-21/08 2016
  • 25/07-31/07 2016
  • 18/07-24/07 2016
  • 11/07-17/07 2016
  • 04/07-10/07 2016
  • 27/06-03/07 2016
  • 20/06-26/06 2016
  • 13/06-19/06 2016
  • 06/06-12/06 2016
  • 30/05-05/06 2016
  • 23/05-29/05 2016
  • 16/05-22/05 2016
  • 09/05-15/05 2016
  • 02/05-08/05 2016
  • 25/04-01/05 2016
  • 18/04-24/04 2016
  • 11/04-17/04 2016
  • 04/04-10/04 2016
  • 28/03-03/04 2016
  • 21/03-27/03 2016
  • 14/03-20/03 2016
  • 07/03-13/03 2016
  • 29/02-06/03 2016
  • 22/02-28/02 2016
  • 15/02-21/02 2016
  • 08/02-14/02 2016
  • 01/02-07/02 2016
  • 25/01-31/01 2016
  • 18/01-24/01 2016
  • 11/01-17/01 2016
  • 04/01-10/01 2016
  • 28/12-03/01 2016
  • 21/12-27/12 2015
  • 14/12-20/12 2015
  • 07/12-13/12 2015
  • 30/11-06/12 2015
  • 23/11-29/11 2015
  • 16/11-22/11 2015
  • 09/11-15/11 2015
  • 02/11-08/11 2015
  • 26/10-01/11 2015
  • 19/10-25/10 2015
  • 12/10-18/10 2015
  • 05/10-11/10 2015
  • 28/09-04/10 2015
  • 21/09-27/09 2015
  • 14/09-20/09 2015
  • 07/09-13/09 2015
  • 31/08-06/09 2015
  • 24/08-30/08 2015
  • 17/08-23/08 2015
  • 10/08-16/08 2015
  • 03/08-09/08 2015
  • 27/07-02/08 2015
  • 20/07-26/07 2015
  • 13/07-19/07 2015
  • 06/07-12/07 2015
  • 29/06-05/07 2015
  • 22/06-28/06 2015
  • 15/06-21/06 2015
  • 08/06-14/06 2015
  • 01/06-07/06 2015
  • 25/05-31/05 2015
  • 18/05-24/05 2015
  • 11/05-17/05 2015
  • 04/05-10/05 2015
  • 27/04-03/05 2015
  • 20/04-26/04 2015
  • 13/04-19/04 2015
  • 06/04-12/04 2015
  • 30/03-05/04 2015
  • 23/03-29/03 2015
  • 16/03-22/03 2015
  • 09/03-15/03 2015
  • 02/03-08/03 2015
  • 23/02-01/03 2015
  • 16/02-22/02 2015
  • 09/02-15/02 2015
  • 02/02-08/02 2015
  • 26/01-01/02 2015
  • 19/01-25/01 2015
  • 12/01-18/01 2015
  • 05/01-11/01 2015
  • 29/12-04/01 2015
  • 22/12-28/12 2014
  • 15/12-21/12 2014
  • 08/12-14/12 2014
  • 01/12-07/12 2014
  • 24/11-30/11 2014
  • 17/11-23/11 2014
  • 10/11-16/11 2014
  • 03/11-09/11 2014
  • 27/10-02/11 2014
  • 20/10-26/10 2014
  • 13/10-19/10 2014
  • 06/10-12/10 2014
  • 29/09-05/10 2014
  • 22/09-28/09 2014
  • 15/09-21/09 2014
  • 08/09-14/09 2014
  • 01/09-07/09 2014
  • 25/08-31/08 2014
  • 18/08-24/08 2014
  • 11/08-17/08 2014
  • 04/08-10/08 2014
  • 28/07-03/08 2014
  • 21/07-27/07 2014
  • 14/07-20/07 2014
  • 07/07-13/07 2014
  • 30/06-06/07 2014
  • 23/06-29/06 2014
  • 16/06-22/06 2014
  • 09/06-15/06 2014
  • 02/06-08/06 2014
  • 26/05-01/06 2014
  • 19/05-25/05 2014
  • 12/05-18/05 2014
  • 05/05-11/05 2014
  • 28/04-04/05 2014
  • 14/04-20/04 2014
  • 07/04-13/04 2014
  • 31/03-06/04 2014
  • 24/03-30/03 2014
  • 17/03-23/03 2014
  • 10/03-16/03 2014
  • 03/03-09/03 2014
  • 24/02-02/03 2014
  • 17/02-23/02 2014
  • 10/02-16/02 2014
  • 03/02-09/02 2014
  • 27/01-02/02 2014
  • 20/01-26/01 2014
  • 13/01-19/01 2014
  • 06/01-12/01 2014
  • 30/12-05/01 2014
  • 23/12-29/12 2013
  • 16/12-22/12 2013
  • 09/12-15/12 2013
  • 02/12-08/12 2013
  • 25/11-01/12 2013
  • 18/11-24/11 2013
  • 11/11-17/11 2013
  • 04/11-10/11 2013
  • 28/10-03/11 2013
  • 21/10-27/10 2013

    E-mail mij

    Druk op onderstaande knop om mij te e-mailen.


    Gastenboek

    Druk op onderstaande knop om een berichtje achter te laten in mijn gastenboek


    Blog als favoriet !

    Klik hier
    om dit blog bij uw favorieten te plaatsen!


    Blog tegen de wet? Klik hier.
    Gratis blog op https://www.bloggen.be - Bloggen.be, eenvoudig, gratis en snel jouw eigen blog!