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A teacher must have the ability to promote inclusion, equality and diversity into all of his or her sessions. Thus acknowledging and respecting individuals learning needs and giving support and assistance where and when necessary. A student is entitled to be part of the learning cycle without being treat differently to other learners, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexual orientation. A student should feel that they are being treat equally to other learners within the classroom setting and are an integral part of the group.
However, a teacher should continually monitor students and be able to identify the diverse needs of individuals and offer support without favouritism. They should be aware of any learners that seem isolated or may be feeling they are being treat differently whether it be by the teacher or other learners. If this situation occurs, the tutor should be approachable so the student can address any issues regarding equality or if necessary be able to refer the situation on to a higher position such as course leader.
There are key pieces of legislation that a teacher needs to be aware of that are relevant, such as the Disability Discrimination Act (2005), Race Relations Act (1976) and Sex Discrimination Act (1975). These are to ensure that non of the groups mention are treat unfavourably or differently from others. A teacher needs to take the lead in promoting equal opportunities and needs to examine their own manner and behaviour and make sure they are non-discriminatory. This will encourage learners to act accordingly and where necessary challenge students who do not and their behaviour adversely affects others within the group.
A teacher needs to promote inclusivity, ‘…involving all learners in relevant activities rather than excluding them for any reason either directly or indirectly. ’ (Gravells, 2008). There are certain factors that need to be taken into account to promote inclusivity, such as the physical environment to ensure those with physical disabilities can access the area where learning takes place. When teaching students with learning difficulties it may be necessary to rely on more visual aids for them to understand the material and cut the session into shorter chunks to accommodate their reduced attention span.
When there are issues with challenging behaviour within the classroom, it is essential that ground rules are set early on in the course which allows students to take ownership and teachers should give positive reinforcement when they are adhered to, to encourage good behaviour. Positive reinforcement also works well when trying to boost a student’s confidence, group work may also help those with lack of confidence instead of individual work. A teacher also needs to be aware of the diverse individual needs of his or her students, being able to support them in their learning.
This can help the student feel included within the classroom setting as they are not falling behind in their work and are equal to the abilities of their peers. This can be offered by one-to-one tutorial sessions or suggesting a mentor for the student to help with their work. There are many issues that need to be taken into account when ensuring that all students will have an effective learning experience. A teacher needs to ensure that the learning needs of all students are met to encourage learning.