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Week 2: Learner-centred teaching

7. Attitudes to learners

In all our conversations with educators, the importance of teachers’ attitudes to learners, especially those with special educational needs was highlighted. In the next activity you will hear Daniel talking about the challenge that prevailing attitudes can produce and you will focus more closely on the notions of ‘fixed intelligence’ vs ‘everyone can learn with the right support’.

Activity 2.4 Attitudes to learners

Allow approximately 15 mins for this activity.

View transcript / Download PDF

Listen to Daniel talking about attitudes to inclusive teaching. As you listen, make notes on the following:

  • What do you think he means by ‘learner capacity’?
  • What cultural attitudes does he want to challenge?

What practical steps do you think teachers can take to challenge the notion of ‘fixed intelligence’?

For example – in Zambia, during school-based CPD teachers focused on organising more pair work and group work. Many commented that children whom they had previously labelled as ‘shy’ or ‘slow’ could do more than they realised in the safety of a smaller group. Setting tasks which are of an appropriate standard provides opportunities for praise and to raise self-esteem and ambition. 

Write a brief post on the Week 2 forum with one suggestion or example from your experience. Read and comment on two other posts.