This advanced certificate qualification takes you through the management and application of training and instruction.
The course consists of nine x 100 hour modules that focus on course development, delivery and management.
Note that each module in the Qualification - Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Instructional & Training Skills) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
How Can the Differing Needs of Different Students be Catered For?
There are a number of ways in which individual differences in terms of student ability can be dealt with. Some examples of these methods are as follows:
Between-Class Ability Grouping
This involves allocating students to classes according to their ability. This could take the form of students going into ‘college preparatory’ or ‘general’ tracks (tracks meaning curricula aimed at students of a particular ability). Students may also be ‘streamed’ according to ability and then remain in that particular class throughout school. Alternatively, students might be streamed for particular subjects. In primary schools students are more likely to be grouped within classes e.g. with reading.
Much research has demonstrated between class ability grouping to be ineffective.
There are several reasons for this;
- Teachers’ expectations of a pupil’s ability may be lowered if they are in low-rack classes.
- There may be few positive role models for pupils in these classes.
- Grouping is often done on the basis of standardised test scores rather than performance in a particular subject.
- Teachers would seem to produce more facts and less concepts when teaching pupils in lower track classes than they do in higher or mixed ability classes (Oakes, 1985).
Tracking has also been demonstrated to have a stigmatising effect on children making them more likely to become delinquent and truant.
It would seem that tracking should be avoided between classes, however it is fine to offer it to talented individuals or to those students who opt to undertake more advanced courses.
Mixed ability classes would seem to be a better option and can deal with individual differences by having within class ability grouping and individual tutoring and programs of study for the low achievers.
The ‘Joplin Plan’ is an example of regrouping where students are in mixed ability classes throughout the school day but are placed in classes according to ability for certain subjects e.g. reading and mathematics. This regrouping also goes across grades so that students of different ages may end up in the same class for reading.
This plan has been shown to significantly improve student achievement (Slavin 1987b)
Within Class Ability Grouping
This is often used in primary schools and particularly in reading and maths.
Much of the research in this area has thus taken place within primary schools.
It would seem that students of high, low, and intermediate ability benefit equally from within class ability grouping.
Furthermore that these students benefited more than those who where not in classes that used grouping (Slavin 1987b).
Also, small numbers of ability groups are more beneficial than large groups, as the larger the number of groups the less time the teacher has to spend with each group.
As maths develops from computations to more abstract problem solving, within class grouping becomes less necessary.
It can be said that within class ability grouping is not desirable but where necessary it is preferable to between class grouping.
Within class grouping is less stigmatising, more flexible, yields more favourable achievement outcomes and occupies a much lesser proportion of the school day.
Effective use of ability groups:
1/ Ability-Grouped Active Teaching (AGAT)
This program was developed by Slavin and Karweit (1982b) and aimed at upper primary and middle school maths classes.
It uses two ability groups, in order to maximise the amount of time the teacher can spend with the pupils.
Studies have shown students in AGAT classes to gain more in mathematical computations than those in traditional classes.
2/ Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition (CIRC)
This program was designed to improve the effectiveness of time spent at their desks by pupils whilst the teacher was occupied with reading groups (Madden et al., 1987).
The students work in groups of four containing two pairs of students from two different reading groups, and engage in a series of activities with one another.
These activities might include reading to one another, answering questions about plot, characters, settings and so on; or practicing new vocabulary, spellings, or writing etc.
Research has found positive effects of the use of the CIRC program.
Mastery learning was devised by (Block and Anderson, 1975) as a means of adapting instruction to the individual needs of students. It proposes that all children can learn when provided with the appropriate learning conditions in the classroom. It requires all students to have mastered a particular skill to a particular level before the next skill is introduced.
The application of mastery learning is based on Benjamin Bloom’s Learning For Mastery model, with refinements made by Block. Benjamin Bloom (1976) first adapted the mastery concept to individual needs. He developed Carroll’s ‘time spent’ concept, and suggested that students should be allowed different amounts of time to master concepts so that they could all reach a reasonable level of learning. Mastery learning is a predominantly group-based, teacher-paced instructional approach, where students learn by cooperating with their classmates. Some aspects of mastery learning require they work with other students, whilst other aspects require they work independently.
The assumption is that almost every student can attain the essential skills in a curriculum. Students who fail to achieve a preset ‘mastery criterion’ are given ‘corrective instruction’ which could be after school or during the holidays in order to bring them up to the required level.
Research has shown this approach to work’ particularly with low-achievers (Bloom, 1984).