Explore BrainMass

Classroom Environment, Design & the Diversity of Learners

How does the diversity of learners impact classroom environment and design?

Solution Preview


1. How does the diversity of learners impact classroom environment and design?

By the year 2020 forty percent of the nation will be African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American; meaning the United States is becoming less white and more multicultural. Multicultural Education is an educational strategy that builds on the student? culture to create an effective classroom instruction and school environmen .(Source: Gollnick,D.M &Chinn,C.P.(1998). Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society 5th edition. Columbus, OH :Merrill.) I

However, diversity of learners can only impact classroom management and diversity if the teacher and institution include these characteristics into the overall classroom instruction, managment and environment (seating patterns, etc.) to meet the needs of the diverse set of learners. However, there are many ways to meet these needs. In fact, the teacher is highly instrumental in this process. Teacher expectations research helps us to understand the interaction between the affective and the cognitive domains of learning. Teacher? expectations impact student performance. Knowing this, the teacher can impact the classroom environment and design based on this research knowledge.

For example, the following behaviors that communicate expectations can be used in ways to encourage the participation of all students in the teaching and learning process.

?æ Using wait time
?æ Discussing wrong answers
?æ Giving appropriate rewards
?æ Using praise
?æ Giving unambiguous feedback
?æ Giving more attention
?æ Providing role models
?æ Calling on minority students in a variety of ways
?æ Changing seating arrangements
?æ Providing challenges
?æ Varying types of question
?æ Encouraging independence
?æ Establishing rules

Source: Good, T.L & Brophy, J.E. (1990). Analyzing Classroom Interactions:A More Powerful Alternative, Education vol.11 issue3 p.36-42

Expanding on these strategies, the teaching strategies to consider:

1. Using wait time - After calling on students, mentally count to eight between 3-5 seconds. Give them plenty
of time to respond to the question asked.

2. Discussing wrong answers - When students give incorrect or incomplete answers to the questions asked, probe further with a series of questions to help students correct the error.

3. Giving appropriate rewards - Practice rewarding the behavior you want to encourage. Focus on the intellectual quality and demonstrated performance.

4. Using praise

?æ Use praise to reinforce academic performance. Use praise equally among all of the students in the class.
?æ Avoid overuse of praise
?æ Provide specific praise for academic skills

5. Giving Unambiguous feedback

?æ When commenting on students?performance, give clear and specific feedback. State what is right or wrong and avoid overuse of phrases like: O.K., good, nice try, not quite. These phrases suggest that the student is not expected to improve.

6. Giving more attention

?æ Focus on the students who have received less attention from you in the past and initiate additional high quality interactions both on a one-to-one basis and in groups.

7. Provide role ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses how the diversity of learners impact classroom environment and design.