Training guide


5. Involving all learners

5.2. TOP TIPS to involve all learners

Model good behaviour: be an example to your learners by treating them all well, regardless of ethnic group, religion or gender. Talk to them all respectfully, take account of their opinions when appropriate and encourage them to take responsibility for the classroom by giving them tasks that will help everyone.

High expectations: all learners can learn and progress if supported appropriately. If some learners are finding it difficult to understand the work you are doing in class, your role as the teacher is to work out how best to help them learn. If you have high expectations of everyone in your class, your learners are more likely to assume that they will learn if they keep trying. High expectations should also apply to behaviour. Make sure the expectations are clear and that learners treat each other with respect.

Have different activities: learners learn in different ways. Some like to write, while others prefer to draw diagrams or pictures to represent their ideas. Some like to work alone, others in groups or pairs. Some learners are good listeners, while some learn best when they get the opportunity to talk about their ideas. You cannot suit all the learners all the time, but you can build variety into your teaching and offer learners some choices.

Relate the learning to everyday life: for some learners, what you are asking them to learn appears to have nothing to do with their everyday lives. Try and relate the learning to something that is relevant to them and draw on examples from their own experience.

Use of language: think carefully about the language you use. Use positive language and praise, and do not ridicule learners. If you make unkind comments to a learner, then the others in the class will think it is appropriate to be unkind to others.

Challenge stereotypes: find and use resources that show girls in non-stereotypical roles or invite female role models to visit the school, such as doctors or business women. Try to be aware of your own gender stereotyping; you may know that girls play sport and that boys are caring, but often we express this differently, mainly because that is the way we are used to talking in society.

Create a safe and welcoming learning environment: all learners need to feel safe and welcome at school. Think about how the school and classroom might appear and feel like to different learners. Think about where they should be asked to sit and make sure that any learners with visual or hearing impairments, or physical disabilities, sit where they can access the lesson. Check that those who are shy or easily distracted are where you can easily include them.

Activity 2.12: Reflection

Think back to your teaching over the past week and try to identify two or three ways in which you managed to include more learners. In your Teacher Notebook, write down what you did and how the learners reacted.

It might be through trying out group work and/or pair work or using questioning to engage more learners than usual. Share your reflections with your partner/s and make a note in your Teacher Notebook of anything they have done that you could try.