In Brookfield’s Skillful Teacher, Chapter 8 deals with teaching in a diverse classroom. The students in the classroom are very diverse. Students bring different educational, cultural, and work experiences to the class. Students who speak English as second language can be in the class. This diversity in the classroom needs to be acknowledged by the instructor who needs to figure out how to teach the lesson plan and deliver the lesson plan.
Brookfield indicates that the instructor needs to assess the diversity in the classroom. One suggestion that Brookfield discusses is to perform a learning style assessment as one of the first activities of the classroom. This is a great suggestion as the instructor can modify the course or future lesson plans.
Brookfield also recommends that the instructor asks for a show of hands when the instructor asks a question in the classroom. I like this feedback technique because you can get a quick response fast from the students. This approach can be great for the students who are introverts or hate to speak in the classroom. Getting immediate feedback, I can get students to close their eyes and ask them to raise their hands. I do not want groupthink to happen or one or two students in the front of the class to influence the decision.
Conducting a Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ) is another way to asses the diversity of the classroom. The CIQ allows the instructor see the classroom through students’ eyes. The instructor hands out a handout once a week and the end of the week is preferred. This questionnaire gives the instructor immediate feedback and the instructor can address any misunderstandings. The instructor needs to report back the results to the students. Transparency can create trust in the classroom between the teachers and students.
Brookfield mentions the following solutions to address the diversity in the classroom.
1) Team Teaching
2) Mixing Student Groups
3) Mixing Modalities
4) Visual or Oral Communications
5) Silent or Filled classrooms
These are great teaching techniques to address the different learning styles in the classroom. I truly respect these five techniques because these techniques mix the delivery of lessons. Changing the format of the lesson delivery can address the diversity of learners in the classroom.
Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in The Classroom. John Wiley & Sons. p 97 – 109.