If we face students with great variety, the first thing we should think of is not how we should work on class management so as not to disturb the lesson flow. On the contrary, we should consider how the lesson can be altered so that all students can gain satisfaction and acquire knowledge from the valuable class time. I suggest that we should start from setting objectives of the lesson that cater students of different abilities. If we do not expect the same outcome from them, we may as well set different objectives for them. For students with lower ability, we can aim at building up their foundational knowledge and other cognitive skills. For students with higher ability, we can extend the objectives to integration of ideas and also higher level of judgment. We should then introduce different types of activities ranging from basic recalling or description to advanced evaluation work. We should also provide more students oriented activities so that they can fully engage in class, which should also be one of our main objectives of lesson.
Ref:University of New Mexico School of Medicine(2005). Effective use of performance objectives for learning and assessment.Teacher & Educational Development. p.1-6
I think Emily has raised a good point - "If we face students with great variety...we should consider how the lesson can be altered so that all students can gain satisfaction and acquire knowledge from the valuable class time."
From my experience, many serving and prospective teachers sometimes misunderstand that "DIFFERENTIATION=TROUBLES".
It is, however, not true. According to the one of the teacher-training manual, Geoff Petty defined differentiation as:
"the process by which differences between learners are accommodated so that ALL students in a group have the BEST possible chance of learning"
It is believed that only when teachers abandon the old thinking that differentiation is bad can they open to new ideas on it. For instance, if they acknowledge that the well treatment towards differentiation could actually maximize the learning gains of every student, they would be willing and able to try out new ideas to tackle it.
I personally agree very much to the suggestion of Peter Anstee, an English teacher and author of the Differentiation Pocketbook - differentiation is about "adapting teaching and learning styles to suit the whole class, groups or individuals.
Basically I agree with Emily. Let's first put our focus on the idea of adjusting the lesson. First, I think it is very important for us, teachers, to adjust the lesson based on students' ability and readiness to learn. Through teaching our students, I am sure that we will all have a basic understanding of our students. Therefore, setting different goals for students with different ability is not a difficult job. As Vygotsky (1978) had once suggested the idea of Zone of Proximal Development, where there is an area where students can learn or achieve with the assistance of teachers or peers. He also suggested that the assistance given within the ZPD help better than any random help given to students. Besides, Krashen had once suggested the idea of i+1, meaning that “i” is the ability of the students and where “1” is the area that students can learn. Therefore, I think that it is a must for us to ensure that every student should have learnt something in each lesson.
From what professor Wan had taught and the reading, we should set a crystal clear objective. By then, we will be able to know how to implement such objective and if the objective is achieved or not. I personally think that the KUD scheme is very good. K as in Know, it is about some facts or procedural knowledge. U as in Understand, it is essential generalization and big ideas. D as in Do, it refers to skills and something transferable. I think we should also bare their three aspects in mind while developing a suitable objective for students. Instead of just telling the students what should do, we should also structure activities and scaffold learning experiences so that students can generalize the concept and walk on their own feet. Although the reading suggested teachers to debrief the students of how the activities related to their learning, I think this is not that workable in the Hong Kong context as students are regarded to be passive and not much students are willing to speak out. Instead, we should formulate our activities so that it is related to our learning. For example, when we are going to teach a passage about camping, we may decorate our classroom so that students may find it easier to contextualize the situation. This at the same time can raise students’ interest so that behavioural problem may not arise so easily. We can also have some role play. For the students will lower ability, we can give them some que-cards so that it assists them in the conversation and they will not feel lacking behind and start chatting with others.
Reference: J.N. Kumpost. (2009). Understanding the “Understands” in KUDs. Retrived from http://www.differentiationcentral.com
Bowie has illustrated clearly how we can introduce activities related to students learning. Yet, I feel more hopeful toward the ability of students to adapt to different learning mode. Perhaps it is indeed difficult for them to think of or even talk about how the activities is related to their learning progress. But we can make a start by hinting it at the beginning of activities and even turn it into a required part of activities. To tackle the shyness of students, we can create some worksheets for them to fill out. In this way, students can still participate but they do not need to respond immediately. I believe that this can still be achieved if we can build it up gradually.
I agree that KUD can be adopted for objectives setting and activities introduction. Yet, KUD should not only be applied to students but also teachers themselves since they are the ones who play the most significant role in determining the effectiveness of learning and teaching.
Thus, teachers should KNOW:
• Research and rationale to support building healthy
• Ways to assess students’ learning profiles and how to use the information to develop healthy learning communities
• Strategies to develop classroom communities that support differentiation including flexible grouping strategies
• Classroom management techniques that support differentiation
• A student-centered classroom based on well-defined individual needs provides the appropriate context for differentiation.
• When students assume ownership and responsibility for classroom procedures, learning, and developing a personal best work effort, the result is high achievement and motivation.
• A classroom environment that supports differentiation balances student voice and choice with teacher direction, is cooperative rather than competitive and honors and celebrates student differences instead of hiding or ignoring them.
BE ABLE TO DO:
• Assess learning profiles and manage the information for all students.
• Determine practical applications for new knowledge, understanding, and skills related to classroom communities.
• Discuss, collaborate, question, plan, and reflect
Smith, N. (2009). Managing the Differentiating Classroom.
Retreieved from: http://daretodifferentiate.wikispaces.com/
That's a great point Irina!!!
I think many of us will also ignore such things because we usually think our lesson in a student-oriented way. By doing so, our objectives are usually switched to emphasizing students. This new way of thinking KUD helps me to have a clearer picture of what we should do as well. I think this raises a good point for reflecting ourselves in setting our objectives. Thanks irina for sharing this with us :D
I would like to highlight a suggestion put forward under the session "understand" - "When students assume ownership and responsibility for classroom procedures, learning, and developing a personal best work effort, the result is high achievement and motivation. "
I think teachers should pay particularly attention when he or she assigns group work. With the mixed ability, it would be much better to ensure that students have specific roles which they are accountable for.
For instance, my teacher used to cut the reading comprehension questions into different pieces, and will assign us four in a group - one runner to get the paper stripes from the teachers' desk, one reader who reads aloud the question, one finder who finds the answer from the passage, and lastly a writer who writes down the answer.
I think this is effective in a mixed ability classroom as students would have a sense of commitment and achievement by assuming different roles. Also, teachers could consider varying the roles to different students by rotating their responsibilities, so as to let students try tasks with different nature.
When I was reviewing the journals on the teaching techniques of group task, I realized the method that my teacher used was called "Fan-N-Pick".
Oh, by the way, just a note on Bowie's point:
"I think it is very important for us, teachers, to adjust the lesson based on students' ability and readiness to learn."
In fact according to Tomlinson (2005), differentiated instruction does not assume that each student has a separate ability level. Some students are grouped together because they have similar academic needs.
And assessing readiness, interest and learning profile are equally important in classroom differentiation :)
Um...i think what i mean is that the students in the same classroom have varies ability and such a diversity urge the necessity to shape curriculum and instruction to maximize learning for all students. According to "Leadership for differentiating schools and classrooms", Differentiation is an umbrella concept that incorporates many effective traditional methods and strategies as well as merging many aspects of critical thinking, brain research, interdisciplinary instruction, and constructivism. Therefore, i think there is still discrepancy between students? (Am i right?)
Based on the reference, differentiation programming is...
• Providing multiple assignments within each unit, tailored for students of different levels of achievement. (this is why i think students in the same class still have difference in ability)
• Allowing students to choose, with the teacher's guidance, ways to learn and how to demonstrate what they have learned.
• Permitting students to opt out of material they already know and progress at their own pace through new material. (I think this is similar to what the guest speaker, mr. lam, has shared with us that he allows some of his elite students to go and read those reference books instead of asking him to sit and listen to lessons that he is already familiar with it)
• Structuring class assignments so they require high levels of critical thinking but permit a range of responses.
• Having high expectations for all students.
• Creating learning centers with activities geared to different learning styles, readiness and levels of interest.
• Providing students with opportunities to explore topics in which they have strong interest and find personal meaning.
Reference: C.A. Tomlinson., & S.D. Allan. (2000). Leadership for differentiating schools and classrooms. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. USA
Bowie has a very concise summary about differentiation by "product". It is always the easliest and popular way to cater students' diverse needs. However, the craft of teaching also concerns differentation by "content" and "process".
That is a good point Irina!
In Spain, we have been taught that a teacher can control until 4 different groups with different ability level in a single class. Taking into account that there are usually 25/30 students in each class, I think is totally possible to apply this method.
Grouping students can be a matter of academic needs but also a matter of complementation among students, and that is what allows the teacher to create a wide range of activities and class organisations. Depending on the activity, it is a good idea to group pupils regarding their academic needs (learning styles, level, interests, etc...) but also, I think it is very positive as a personal growth of a student to do activities with other students that are completely opposed to them because, through a pair-work for example, they can also learn other ways to face an exercise and it creates a "critical thinking" because unconsciously, they are at the same time learning and evaluating a different way of facing an activity and so, they can take the best of it for their own future activies to do.
:D Great mind thinks alike. Let's put the above in brief.
For the objectives part,
1. To set different objectives for different students according to their ability.
2. To set objectives that also includes the affection aspect, for example students' engagement of the activities.
3. To set objectives according to ZPD and i+1 theory.
4. To have crystal clear objectives
5. To include KUD framework in setting the objectives
For the activities, we may adopt the following.
1. To have various types of activities to suit students with different learning styles and abilities. (give assistance to students with lower ability)
2. Scaffold the learning experience
3. To have activities that are related to learning or items that are teaching
Adding on to the above, I think we need to have a regular routine for the lesson. Having a regular routine enables students to know the flow of the lesson. Although it may need time to train students up for the routine, it is much time-saving afterwards when students are familiar with the routines (which may be like a week or two). By doing so, students may need to have less extraneous processing. Therefore, their focus can be put on the course work as working memory are not occupied by extraneous processing. Besides, another pros of having a classroom routine is to train students up. Teaching is no longer a job that merely deliver knowledge. We, teachers, also need to preach our students.
Another thought is that, I think we need to keep track of students by using some checklist. We may have different objectives for each lesson. For example, we may want students to acquire a particular skills or writing style in a writing class. We can make good use of the checklist to let students know how much they have achieved and their area of weakness. For the higher achievers, we may have some more complicated checklist with lots of details regarding their performance while for the lower achievers, we may set some basic checklist. Therefore, both students can understand the area that they can work on and corresponding assistance can be given to students.
Reference: Ormrod, J.E. (2012). Essentials of educational psychology: Big ideas to guide effective teaching (3 rd Ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Tomlinson, C.A., & Imbeau, M.B. (2010). Chapter 6. Routines in a Differentiated Classroom (pp115-135) in Leading and managing a differentiated classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD
Thanks Bowie for summarizing the ideas so far. I would then move on to proposing some other strategies and frameworks to be implemented in differentiated classroom.
1. Flexible grouping: Flexible grouping can be adopted based on student interest, learning profile and/or readiness, needs observed during learning times and geared to accomplish curricular goals (KUD).
There are generally 6 types of pre-assigned standing groups:
• Text teams - Similar readiness, reading pairs
• Think tanks - Mixed readiness, writing generator, groups of 3-4
• Synthesis squads - Sets of 4 with visual, performance, writing, metaphorical (etc.) preferences
• Dip sticks - Groups of six with varied profiles used by teacher to do “dip stick”, cross-section checks of progress, understanding
• Teacher talkers - Groups of 5-7 with similar learning needs with whom the teacher will meet to extend and support growth
• Peer partners - Student selected, groups 3 or 4
2. Peer coaching: It's a good idea to create several "partners" for every child in the class. One method involves 4 pairings in each class a clock face to illustrate: a 12 o'clock partner, with a student most like each student in ability (assigned by the teacher,) a 6 o'clock partner, who is the opposite level of ability, and 3 and 9 o'clock partners of their choosing.
Peer coaches can help each other with flash cards, with written assignments, and with collaborative activities. Nevertheless, it is essential for teachers for spent time earlier to train their students to adapt to partnership work.
In conducting group works, teachers have to bear in mind not to turn groups into tracking situations but provide opportunities for students to work within a variety of groups and practise moving into group situations and assuming roles within the group.
Tomlison (2000) has suggested the following checklist for teachers for group work designing:
• Students understand the task goals.
• Students understand what’s expected of individuals to make the group work well.
• The task matches the goals (leads students to what they should know, understand, and be able to do).
• Most kids should find the task interesting.
• The task requires an important contribution from each group.
• The task is likely to be demanding of the group and its members.
• The task requires genuine collaboration to achieve shared understanding.
• The timelines are brisk (but not rigid).
• Individuals are accountable for their own understanding of all facets of the task.
• There’s a “way out” for students who are not succeeding with the group.
• There is opportunity for teacher or peer coaching and in-process quality checks.
• Students understand what to do when they complete their work at a high level of quality.
I would also like to introduce the 4MAT system by Bernice McCarthy and invite everyone of us to think about its implementation in instruction.
In the 4MAT system, there are four major learning styles, each of which asks different questions and displays different strengths during the learning process.
1. IF - Modifying, adapting, risking, creating
2. WHY - Listening, speaking, interacting, brainstorming
3. HOW - Experimenting, manipulating, improving, tinkering
4. WHAT - Observing, analyzing, classifying, theorizing
It is designed to provide every student with a preferred task during every lesson to meet with the needs of left- and right-brain learners.
Huitt, W. (2009). Individual differences: The 4MAT system. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from: http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/instruct/4mat.html.
Valentino, C. (2000). Flexible Grouping. Houghton Mifflin Company. Retreived from: http://www.eduplace.com/science/profdev/articles/valentino.html.
Webster, J. (n.d.). Differentiation in Special Education: Differentiating Instruction for Success. Retrieved from: http://specialed.about.com/od/integration/a/root.htm.
I am so thrilled to see your intensive comments! XD Both KUD proposed by Bowie and 4MAT system suggested by Irina are really suitable for tackling differentiated classroom problem. I am more familiar with KUD than 4MAT system so I have searched for more information about 4MAT.I have found that multiple research suggest increase of student motivation and also aid to connect their learning with context outside classroom. Teacher can also crosscheck their teaching methodology by applying the strategy to their classrooms.
I'd like to supplement Irina's saying of 4MATmeeting needs of left and right brain learners. I originally thought that 4MAT provides different version for different learners. But when I found out more about 4MAT, I discovered that it actually allows students to train both side of their brains as there are two substeps, one for left brainer and one for right brainer, for each of the questions (Why, What, How,If).
For example, asking the "What" question allows learners to reflect and develop learned concept. By doing so, students have to both integrate reflective analysis into concepts (Right brain) and then further develop and define the concepts(Left brain). Students are offered opportunity to build up both skills of logical thinking and imagery development.
We can also integrate both KUD and 4MAT system to our teaching. By KUD, we obtain the information of the frame of our lesson such as what the student should understand. And then we can make use of 4MAT system to ensure activities are varying enough for both left brain and right brain learners. The two systems bridge what we perceive the knowledge students should acquire and what they really experience in the classroom to learn.
Huitt, W. (2009). Individual differences: The 4MAT system. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from: http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/instruct/4mat.html.
Nicoll-Senft,J.M. and Seider.S.N.(2010).Assessing the impact of the 4MAT teaching model across multiple disciplines in higher education. College Teaching.58,19-27.DOI: 10.1080/87567550903245623
Thanks Irina for introducing this wonderful system and Emily for expanding on it.
I have read some articles talking about 4MAT and would like to share some important points here.
4MAT is an eight-step cycle of instruction that capitalizes on individual learning styles and brain dominance processing preferences.
There is two major premises of the system that i think it is important for us to bear in mind before applying such system.
1. people have major learning style and hemispheric (right or left) processing preference
2. designing and using multiple instructional strategies in a systematic framework to teach to these preferences can improve teaching and learning.
The article also suggests that there is two major difference of how people work.
1. how they perceive
2. how they process
based on these, there are 4 types of people,
1. imaginative learners
2. analytic learners
3. common sense learners
4. dynamic learners
Therefore, i think we, teachers, need to pay attention to different types of students when using the 4MAT system.
Actually, the 4MAT system can be classified into eight steps, with four different categories.
The first category is “self”, including two steps. It is something related to “personal meaning”
1. Creating an experience (right mode)
2. Reflecting analyzing experience (left mode)
The second category includes a transitions and part of the content. It is related to content and curriculum.
3. Transitions: Integrating reflective analysis into concepts (right mode)
4. Developing concepts, skills (left mode)
The third category includes part of the content and being critical. It is about the usefulness.
5. Practicing defined “givens”. (left mode)
6. Critical: Practicing and adding something of oneself (right mode)
The forth category is “expression”. It is about creativity.
7. Analyzing application for relevance, usefulness. (left mode)
8. Doing it and applying to new, more complex experience. (right mode).
By the above, we can see that the 4MAT system allows learners to use both left and right mode of thinking. This is similar to what Emily have elaborated.
Reference: B. McCarthy. (1990). Using the 4MAT system to bring learning styles to schools. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. pp.31-37
As Bowie has mentioned, 4MAT is an 8-step cycle. Kaplan also introduces 4MAT in his study but he puts it in more details. Perhaps it can supplement Bowie's findings a little bit?
Step 1: Create an Experience. Link the concept to the individuals
in a personal and meaningful way. Include sharing personal reflections and autobiographical information, brainstorming, listening, speaking, mind mapping, drawing, interacting, idea generating, and role play.
Step 2: Reflect on the Experience. Ask learners to think about the
experience and share it with others. Create and reinforce the meaning that brings real understanding and the reason to learn.
Step 3: Integrate the Observations into Concepts. Synthesize the
reflections from the previous personal experience into a visual or poetic image or feeling that links the personal experience to the concept under study. Include seeing relationships and connections; patterning; creating analogs, metaphors, and non-verbal or spatial representations; discussing.
Step 4: Developing Theories and Concepts: Give learners conceptual
and factual information from experts. Present information in an
organized, sequential fashion, moving from parts to the whole. This is the traditional instructional presentation format of public schools.
Step 5: Using Information Practically. Learners practice using the
information to see "how it works" in the real world. Include exploring, manipulating, applying the facts and concepts, field and lab work, adapting knowledge to personal use, demonstrations, worksheets, puzzles, diagrams, computer experiments, conversations with peers and instructors. This step is usually denied to mature learners whose learning environments are frequently limited to reading another book or writing another term paper, activities that appeal to only a small percentage of learners (Morris and McCarthy, 1995). Again, with Step 4, this is usually what happens
in traditional learning environments.
Step 6: Integrating Material with Self. The learners add something
of themselves by extending what is learned through their own project
choices and individualizing their own experimentation. Learners begin integrating the information with themselves to evolve a personal synthesis. The learner can choose to work cooperatively on a team or alone and share resulting products later.
Step 7: Analyzing for Usefulness or Application. The learner
moves beyond simple practice and reinforcement and uses the information in a creative way. This includes editing (revising, refining); assessing quality of evidence; synthesizing original performances; analyzing what they have planned as their "proof" of learning based on relevance to content, originality, and excellence; preparing and presenting exhibitions and publications, taking a position, coming to closure.
Step 8: Integrating Application and Experience. The learners
present or perform the original example of their learning, sharing it with
others in a meaningful way. This is also the time to celebrate the learners’accomplishments.
Kaplan, L. S.(1998). Using the 4MAT Instructional Model for Effective Leadership Development. NASSP Bulletin September, vol. 82 no. 599, pp83-92
Retrieved from: http://bul.sagepub.com/content/82/599/83.full.pdf+html
Morris, S., and McCarthy, B. 4MAT in Action. Sample Units for Grades 7-12, 3d ed. Barrington, Ill.: EXCEL, 1995.
I found that there could be three generally accepted categories of differentiation:
- By task, which involves setting different activities for pupils of different abilities;
- By support, which means giving more help to certain pupils within the group;
- By outcome, which involves setting open-ended tasks and allowing pupil response at different levels.
Darren, E. (2012). Making the most of mixed ability: Pedagogy.
To make our approach more comprehensive, we should not focus on only one aspect. Instead, all aspects of students should be catered for so that they would not feel inferior or helpless during the lesson.
To supplement a bit.
1. The differentiated learning plan should put students at the center of planning and response specifically to their needs
2. Not all the lessons are differentiated at the same point or in the same way (even though with the same group of students)
3. Teachers should NOT differentiate the lessons at each phrase (there are 9 phrases of the lesson which will be discussed in the below)
The nine phrases of using the differentiated learning plan. I think this is useful for us when we design our own lesson plan.
1. Standards/ KUDo's
- The goals of the lesson, which reflects the standard of students. This is similar to the "objectives" that we have talked about.
2. Pre-assessments/ Formative Assessment Notes
- The data collected influences modifications, adaptations, or extension of learning goals and the design of application activity
it identifies the way we actively engage students' interestes and curiosities about the lesson topic
here are some examples about what we can do: ask open-ended questions, present a problem, tell a story, provide a quotation...
4. Content delivery
it identifies the content, skills or process to be addressed in the lesson
** Teachers can choose to have same goal for the whole class or differentiated goals for different students
A. Differentiation of resources
- it matches students with appropriate materials based on their specific learning needs
B. Differentiation of learning goals
- it involves modifying goals for some students based on special education plans ( a need of greater support or a need for more advanced goals)
5. Instruction/ Modeling
- it addresses how your students will learn. What we need to do is to think of ways in which students will be actively engaged in the learning process. We can also differentiate our teaching at this point
6. Application activities
It is the second element addressing how the students will learn the concept, skills or processes presented in the lesson. Teacher can take this chance to check students' understanding through observation.
The activities can be tiered based on learning preference (based on Multiple Intelligence), readiness, or challenge/ complexity.
7. Independent Application
- This is when students demonstrate their learning. Students will complete a task. It provide formative assessment data for subsequent lessons.
- This is particular important for lower-ability students because it provide a chance for the teacher to recap what the lesson is about.
Here are some of the suggested ways:
a. a quick group activity reinforcing or demonstrating concepts
b. the sharing of product created during class
c. a large group or partner review of key ideas
d. the use of exit slips to do a quick check for understanding
9. What's next?
- This is the reflective period or zone for teachers. This helps students to modify the lesson and adjust the subsequent lessons.
Reference: D. Heacox. (2009). Chapter 4: Critical Element: Using a differentiated learning plan. in Making Differentiation a habit. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit.
From what we have discussed during class last friday, i think we need to be focus a bit. Maybe it is time for us to look in details about the pros and cons of the two models and then formulate one with references of what we have discussed just now. The model should also focus on the Hong Kong context so that it will be much in handy when we use it in the future.
Many research stated that Chinese learners are always "rote-learners" who are "passive", "spoon-fed", "quiet", "unquestioning", "motivated", obedient", "disciplined" (Thogersen 1990, Paine 1992, Biggs 1996, 1999)
Also, Chinese teachers are often portrayed as authoritative and dominant (Thogersen 1990, Paine 1992, Scollon and Scollon 1994, Biggs and Watkins 1996, Cortazzi and Jin 1996a, Li 1999)
I think that's why we need some more interactive activities for the students and those activities should also consider the passiveness of the chinese learners.
I agree that it would be perfect if we can find research articles discussing the use of 4MAT in the context of Hong Kong. However, it is a fact that it is not that popular in the Chinese community yet, let alone Hong Kong. A Chinese research article also addresses the lack of findings related to 4MAT in a Chinese context. Therefore, very few, if not none, relevant research can be found online.
Luckily, I have found a research article suggesting 6 lesson plans for ESL learners using the 4MAT approach. Though the context is Washington, we may use it as a reference for our future lesson plans.
The topics include: "learning about yourself", "learning how to report emergencies in the United States", "planning for the future", "comprehending a reading section and applying it to everyday life", "understanding the similarities and differences in nature", and "stimulating creative thinking and writing with a concrete object".
Since the lesson plan covers a number of graphs and tables, you are suggesting reading the lesson plans on the link or Acrobat Reader. For the lesson plans, please start from P.10 on your Reader.
Short, Deborah. Integrating language and content instruction: Strategies and techniques. Vol. 7. Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, 1991.
Retreived from: http://englishsube.com/uploads/fI/lO/fIlOZE_iJHj5WT0Q-GRhYQ/Integrating_learning_styles_and_skills_in_ESL_classroom.pdf
Thank you Cherry for finding relevant articles for it.
However, i think there is something that we should bear in mind is the setting. The setting that i mean is the environment that one lives in. When it is in Washington, the vast majority of people are english speaker. The language that they will usually use is english as well. However, this is not the case of hk. Many of us know at least two languages. (Cantonese and English). Some people in the territory also speaks Mandarin. This phenomenon shown that the chances of communicating in English is limited. Therefore, I am a bit conservative about the effect of the lesson planning suggested.
When you look at the reference listed, it may not reflect the picture nowadays. Quite a number of Hong Kong teachers are now more aware of the interactive andn even participative elements of learning and teaching. I am afraid it is an over-generalized statement. When you read other international study, you may find that HK teachers are very innovative, and even more innovative than those in America and Europe.
Reference: Law, N., Pelgrum, W. and Plomp, T. (Eds.) (2008). Pedagogy and ICT use in schools around the world: findings from the IEA SITES 2006 Study. HK: Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong.
I agree with Bowie that we should start to be more focused and summarize our points in a more systematic and oraganized way.
Hong Kong learners are in most ways similar to Chinese learners, and they also are "rote-learners" who are "passive", "spoon-fed", "quiet", "unquestioning", "motivated", obedient", "disciplined". So, we could find an appropiate model (or even more) to target on this type of students.
The combing of the models, KUD and 4MAT, could be one effective approach in doing so. What do you think
But i think we should bear in mind something.
Since there are many research have found related findings related to teacher's behaviour and students' outcome, like the following.
Student factors (achievement) --> Teacher expectations --> Teacher Behaviour --> Student outcomes (learning, achievement). by Brophy&Good (1970,1974) and Rangel (2009).
We may assume that chinese students are passive and then this assumption may or maynot be true for the real situation as students have different character traits. This will affect our expectation. Because of "confirmation bias", which is teachers may search for information that supports their views while ignoring contradictory evidence. This will cause students' performance because of "self-fulfilling prophecy". Therefore, students' behaviour is affected. That's maybe one of the reason why teachers will not prepare many activities, so that students are not willing to take part, and teachers assume students will not participate and therefore less interactive activities are carried out in class.
This is a file found on Tomlinson's website. The first few slides seem to be particularly relevant as it has covered parts of our findings, especially the chart on the first slide. It summarizes some of our points and provides a clearer picture of what "differentiation" means.
In the latter parts, it illustrates the use of different instructional strategies such as RAFTs, cubing, etc. Most of them are covered in class so I suggest focusing on the few slides.
Hope it helps.
To sum up, we can make use of KUD and 4MAT to assist our lesson plan and objective building. The differentiated activities should help us to cater to some of the individual differences.However, these methods are not so popular in HK and chinese context. They are generally more passive than western learners who adapt to 4MAT well. Therefore, we may have to make gradual changes and combine the methods with more traditional interaction. We can respond to the differentiation starting from non verbal gestures, different set of worksheets, then slowly move to different grouping and activities for the whole class. There is much more we are to investigate and we should keep tracking and modify our plan while seeking for possibilities of improvement.