01 SES 14, Symposium: Responding to Diversity
This paper will provide an overview of the rationale and methodology of the project. It will argue that progress will be much more likely if it is recognised that difficulties experienced by students result from the ways in which schools are currently organised and from the forms of teaching that are provided. Consequently, schools have to be reformed and pedagogy needs to be improved in ways that will lead them to respond positively to learner diversity – seeing individual differences not as problems to be fixed, but as opportunities for enriching learning. Within such a conceptualisation, a consideration of difficulties experienced by students provides an agenda for reform and insights as to how such reforms might be brought about. The paper will go on to explain how the project has been designed in order to make a significant contribution to the implementation of this new thinking in schools. Specifically, it will do this by developing strategies that will help teachers to see the value of student differences as a source of professional development. The methodology used, collaborative action research, involves the merging of two frameworks: one of engaging with students’ views and the other that of lesson study.
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