Diverse Students Early Childhood Education
Diverse Students. The term diverse-students refers to learners from ethnically, racially, culturally and linguistically diversified backgrounds, students with special needs as well as learners from a lower than average social-economic class (Parris et al., 2018). An all-inclusive classroom, therefore, calls for teachers to devise and implement strategic approaches to ensure all students are well catered for. The following are some of the approaches teachers of such students can utilize to support students with varied needs and disabilities:
- Ensure the classroom is easy to access physically for all learners in your class. Barriers that may hinder or prevent movement into and around the class for learners should be removed.
- Encourage students without disabilities to interact with the students with disabilities. This will make the students with disabilities feel at ease and thus be more open to learning (Grant, 2018).
- Place children with common disabilities together in the classroom. This will make the children comfortable as they will interact with other children who understand them and thus enable them to become more attentive in class (Grant, 2018).
- Give the learners an avenue for interaction. Provision of tools such as toys enables the learners to initiate conversations thereby promoting interactions (Grant, 2018). These interactions help the students forget their differences and thus becomes easy for them to learn together.
- Encourage the learners to forge genuine friendships. In most cases, the children without disabilities tend to take up a “parenting” role to the children with disabilities where the friendship is based on the children without disabilities taking care of the children with disabilities (Grant, 2018). In this scenario, the children without disabilities end up getting distracted in class.
- Help the children understand the children with disabilities by allowing them to ask questions. Children without disabilities tend to be fascinated by the children with disabilities thus losing focus in class (Grant, 2018). Getting that out of the way will enable all the children more attentive in class.
How children learn
Diverse Students. Learning is a lifelong process (Holt, 2017). Learning in children is entirely different from learning in adults since children are usually in the exploratory phase of life where they desire to discover things about their surroundings (Holt, 2017). Therefore, children learn through different methods; some learn by reading, others by doing, others by hearing, while others by seeing (Holt, 2017). The most common model of learning in children, however, is during play (Holt, 2017). As noted above, children are usually at a stage in life where they desire to discover more about their environment. The best way to achieve them is through informal and unstructured playing sessions where the children are let free to learn and discover the world on their terms. Also, playtime helps the children unwind after a day of school that is structured, governed by rules and follows routines, which in essence limit their desire to explore the world on their own (Holt, 2017).
Diverse Students Problem-solving skills through experiments
Children learn problem-solving skills through experiments (Holt, 2017). Children use objects such as toys to carry out experiments which are a learning setting which has no right or wrong answer. Therefore, at the end of the experiment, the child gets to know a result of a specific action and thus would use this knowledge in subsequent experiments.
Regarding social skills, children learn by interacting with peers through play but guided by an adult such as a teacher or parent by telling them when they do something to another child that is wrong or socially acceptable (Dodge, 2014). In this case, the teacher/parent teaches the offender social cues such as apologizing when they offend someone or gratitude when someone does something kind to them.
Lastly, children learn speech and language by listening to others (such as adults) but and practicing the words they pick up (Dodge, 2014). This also helps the child develop the ability to speak more than one language.
Life skills for children
Diverse Students. Children due to their tender age have a wide array of things that they cannot learn about themselves. They, therefore, need the guidance of parents and teachers to acquire various life skills that enable them to grow into socially responsible individuals (Gregory, 2017). Some of these skills include;
- Honesty and accountability. Teaching children to be honest in their deeds and accountable for their actions makes them responsible individuals as it plants a seed of duty and respect for other people (Gregory, 2017).
- Accepting defeat. As earlier noted, children mostly learn through play. The central theme of playing is winning. This makes them win-oriented even in life situations. Teaching them that losing is also acceptable builds their psychological strengths especially in times of difficulty, later in life (Gregory, 2017).
- Not everything on T.V or the Internet is true or right. In this age, children are widely exposed to content on the internet or through television programs. Some of this content may be misleading such as drug use (Gregory, 2017). Children, therefore, need to be guided against copying things they read on the internet or see on T.V.
- Children due to their young age often do not know the right ways of expressing themselves. Teaching them the value of humility from a tender age such as the golden words (sorry, thank you, please and excuse me) builds their social skills (Gregory, 2017).
Lastly, teaching strategies adopted by teachers should be tailored in a way that syncs with the children’s personalities and surroundings (Gregory, 2017). For instance, in this era, teaching should integrate technology such as the use of good video games to teach problem-solving skills to children. The strategies chosen should also be cooperative where the children not only learn educations wise but also develop their social skills by learning the value of teamwork (Gregory, 2017). Children should also be taught goal-setting skills which help them realize the value of focus later in life. This can be taught through promising them rewards after achieving various simple targets in class.
Dodge, K. A. (2014). A social information processing model of social competence in children. In Cognitive perspectives on children’s social and behavioral development (pp. 85-134). Psychology Press.
Grant, M. C. (2018). IDEA and Inclusive Education: Issues, Implications, and Practices. In Instructional Strategies in General Education and Putting the Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA) Into Practice (pp. 1-38). IGI Global.
Gregory, E. (2017). One child, many worlds: Early learning in multicultural communities. Routledge.
Holt, J. (2017). How children learn. Hachette UK.
Parris, L., Neves, J. R., & La Salle, T. (2018). School climate perceptions of ethnically diverse students: Does school diversity matter?. School Psychology International, 0143034318798419.