Teach the Way They Learn

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
~ Ignacio Estrada

It sounds so simple, doesn't it? 

And yet, if we look closely at our classrooms, we will see that this is just not always happening. There continue to be teachers who expect all of their students to move at the same pace, teachers who rarely vary their teaching style, and teachers who continue to struggle to meet the needs of diverse learners.

If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn; Removing the Stumbling Block
Judaism echoes Estrada’s quote: “Teach a child according to his/her own way.” Proverbs 22:6.

So how do we do it? 

In writing What’s Your Learning Style? I explored the value of understanding one’s own preferred modality of learning as well as those of our students. This could be a first step in transforming a learning environment into a place where every child flourishes.

Another way to make this a reality is to embrace the practice of differentiated instruction. When we differentiate learning, we provide a framework for effective teaching that exposes all students to a vast array of learning opportunities and experiences. 

Nevertheless, teachers in many Jewish supplemental schools struggle to meet each individual student’s needs. Pressed to transmit meaningful content in only a few hours a week, these teachers often revert to one-size-fits-all methods that they believe will maximize instructional time. Wouldn’t having limited contact hours with your students be MORE of an argument in favor of individualizing instruction and teaching to a student’s preferred modality? 

So where do we go from here?

Ten Inclusion Mistakes Even Good Educators Make

Meeting the Needs of Visually Impaired Students: Why Isn’t Accommodating the Same as Inclusion?

Teaching the Difference Between Fairness and Equality

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