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A discussion of equality and diversity issues in a teaching situation-CTLLS Essay

5. A discussion of equality and diversity issues relevant to the candidates teaching/training situation. Equality is ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are treated fairly and equally and no less favourably than others. Equality is about the rights of the learners to attend and participate regardless of age, sex, race, gender reassignment, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage/civil partnership and pregnancy /maternity. Diversity is about recognising and being tolerant of different views which individual people have, in terms of cultural backgrounds and different lifestyle choices relating to any characteristics they may have. A diverse society is what we have as every individual has a different culture, belief and life experience to the next. Inclusion is about including all the learners in ‘relevant activities rather than excluding them for any reason either directly or indirectly’ (Gravells 2008). ‘Every learner has the right to expect that they will receive high quality learning appropriate to their needs and circumstances ion a safe and healthy environment.’ (Success for all: DfES 2002). Inclusive teaching and learning is possible when promoted.

In order to achieve this I combine both the training cycle and the learning styles from Kolb and Fry. These include using Concrete experience, Abstract Conceptualisation, Active Experimentation and Observation and Reflection. Learners the mixing up of which produces the learning styles that best suits a learner, ie; Converger, Diverger, Assimilator and Accommodator. By ensuring the lessons accommodate all learning styles all learners will feel inclusion. Along with the learning styles I would include relevant resource materials . If a learner requires more intervention then I may need to include the following; additional classroom support, adapted or specific resources, peer support, varied presentation, content selection, reducing or increasing time for activities Along with my mentor Geri walker I have written the 5 day induction programme for new starters within the organisation.

This includes lectures in subject matter using power point presentation and notes (abstract conceptualisation), Direct discrimination occurs when you treat someone unfairly due to at least the nine characteristics discussed. Indirect discrimination occurs when a working condition, environment or rule disadvantages one group of people or person more than another. As a teacher it is important that to give equal support, you must not discriminate and must not show favouritism in any way. A teacher should not impose views and opinions on the learners. It is necessary to ensure that the learners show dignity and respect to others in the learning environment. A teacher must recognise that each learner is different and accommodate for those differences wherever possible in the classroom. You should demonstrate your commitment to equal opportunities through everything you say and do in your work with adult students.” (Daines, Daines and Graham, 1993). Geoff Petty states that:

Differentiation is an approach to teaching that attempts to ensure that all students learn well, despite their many differences. Catch phrases which go some way to capturing this concept include: ‘Coping with differences’. ‘Learning for all’ or ‘Success for all’ People began to realise it was not just ability that could be “mixed’’ and that teachers had to cope with differences: learning style, age, motivation, prior learning and experience, gender, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, and so on. Consequently the term ‘mixed ability’ began to be replaced by the less vivid term: ‘differentiation’.

It is important to work in partnership with the learner, get to know them, so that you can assess their ‘minimum core’ and what their learning needs are. If a learner knows what is expected from them and you tell them what to expect from you , successful learning can be achieved . This may be achieved by recognising the needs of a particular person or group of people. The learners within the sessions I teach include people with; learning difficulties, hearing impairments, those whose first language is not English, or those people who may require additional support with literacy, language, numeracy and ICT skills. The learners I teach come from different social and cultural backgrounds and during teaching I have had to respect the following and accommodate, prayer times, Ramadan and different beliefs to mine without impacting on others.

I need to plan my sessions to enable all learners to take part and achieve their individual learning aims, taking into account how I communicate with learner (e.g. using appropriate vocabulary and terminology no abbreviations and jargon, my comments are not discriminatory or offensive or that my body language is appropriate. I need to check that the resources used are non- discriminatory or stereotypical, suitable for the learners needs so that all the learners can participate. Teaching methods need to be varied and support all learning styles. The learning environment needs to promote inclusion ,e.g. for people with disabilities. The Kennedy Report (1997) stressed the importance of making learning accessible to all learners , focussing on people who may be disadvantaged due to social, economic or educational background. These create barriers to learning that may prevent adults from continuing developing their education e.g.lack of information, childcare support, basic skills and costs involved to study.

Daines, JW et al (2006) Adult Learning, Adult Teaching, 4th ed, Cardiff: Welsh Academic Press DfES (2002b) Success for All. London: HMSO
Gravells, A, (2008).preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector.3rd ed. exeter: learning matters Petty, G, (2004) Teaching Today: A practical guide,3rd ed. Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes Reisenberger A & Dadzie S (2002), Equality and diversity in adult and community learning – a guide for managers, Niacehttp://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/pdf/A1181.pdf Smith, M. K. (2001). ‘David A. Kolb on experiential learning’, the encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved 17/3/13 from http://www.infed.org/b-explrn.htm.

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