Differences and how we respond to them
Sherry Turkle is professor at MIT and author of The Second Self: computers and the human spirit. She took her 14 year old daughter to see an exhibition on Darwinism which included live turtles. One was very still and the other even less than active, in dirty water. Her daughter decided a robot would be better and other children in the queue agreed – “For what the turtles do, you don’t have to have live ones” – London Review of Books Diary p36, Vol 28/8, 20/4/2006
Can that be applied to teachers? If not, why not?
It is stating the obvious to insist that students are different to each other in various ways, and that any of those differences might affect the way they learn. But to apply that glaringly obvious statement to your teaching, you need to decide
what kinds of differences matter
how you get to know about them
what they imply for your teaching methods and
what you can realistically do about it.
‘Differentiation’ is a good example of a simple idea rendered complex by the number of ways it has been misrepresented. It is sometimes seen as something new, even as a passing fashion, when in fact the idea behind it has always been basic to good teaching. It is also particularly difficult to achieve in the FE context……