and Discuss issues of equality and diversity and ways to promote inclusion with your learners. Review other points of referral available to meet the potential needs of learners. To fully understand the above we really need to understand the terms. Equality means to be equal before law and without any discrimination. This is particularly important to minorities and to the poor. Through equality every one has the right to fair choices. Diversity is used to describe political entities who have identifiable differences in their background and lifestyles including ethnic minorities.
Inclusion means to meet your learners needs, which some may have more than others. These needs should be appropriately met to enable full participation in the classroom. The main issue related to equality and diversity would be exclusion. If the tutor does not meet the needs for those with a different background then it can often end with the student feeling not only left out but to feel neglected and can lead to missed lessons and also feeling that they don’t belong their. The tutor should be committed to providing equal opportunities for each of his/her students. You should demonstrate your commitment to equal opportunities through everything you say and do in your work with adult students. ” (1993:13). Promotion of equality within the classroom is not only an expectation but a requirement by law. ‘All students must feel that they are positively and equally valued and accepted, and that their efforts to learn are recognised, and judged without bias. It is not enough that they are tolerated. They must feel that they, and the groups to which they belong (e. g. ender, social-class or attainment groups) are fully and equally accepted and valued by you, and the establishment in which you work’. Petty (1998:69) To promote inclusion within your classroom you will need to respond positively to the diverse needs of your learners. How you communicate with your learners is essential ensuring learners can understand what you are saying. Ensuring body language and comments are appropriate and are no offensive. Teaching methods are also important and you will need to make sure that your methods are varied and support all learning styles.
Ensuring your learners can all participate is also important, therefore not excluding any of them. Allowing your learners to establish working relationships effectively, ensuring everyone is included and that the room is accessible and safe for people with sensory disabilities or lack of mobility. Additional support may be required to enable you to support equality and diversity this could be in the form of a learning support assistant, adapted resources, peer support, varied presentation.
Although inclusion is about supporting your learners needs, it may not always be possible to do this without support for yourself. You should be aware of your limits of responsibility and know when and where to access support for both you and your learners. If you have a line manager then they should be your first point of contact. Your colleagues may be another point as they may have experienced something similar. It is your responsibility to find out what support is available for you. Supporting Equality and Diversity is extremely important and is also a legal requirement.
When planning your lessons you should be taking this into account and structuring your lessons appropriately. If you are unsure you should be aware of your limits and seek advice from your line manager. If you don’t have a line manager you will need to get advice on who you should be asking for help and support. Petty G (1998), Teaching Today, United Kingdom: Nelson Thornes. Daines, Daines and Graham (1993) Adult learning, adult teaching United Kingdom:Dept. of Adult Education, University of Nottingham