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Challenging our own attitudes

Challenging our own attitudes

Site: ECML - Moodle | Community
Course: Virtual Open Course (VOC): Collaborative Community Approach to Migrant Education
Book: Challenging our own attitudes
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Date: Sunday, 5 July 2020, 8:21 AM

3. Why we need to challenge our attitudes

 It is easier to connect with people who share the same values, a similar vision of the world, familiar experiences. In a school context this may lead to parents who share similar outlooks with education professionals feeling more comfortable and those from different social, cultural or linguistic backgrounds feeling ill at ease or even unwelcomed. As members of the education community, in the interests of reducing the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students and of offering a fairer school experience to all pupils whatever their backgrounds, we have a duty to ensure that we are not ignoring, albeit unintentionally, the needs of those who are different from ourselves. In order to do this, we need to regularly question our practices and to make explicit the implicit so that we facilitate mutual understanding between all those who contribute to a child’s education.

3.1. What is problem based learning (PBL)?

Problem based learning (PBL) is an instructional method based on the use of authentic or real world problems which can foster discussion, challenge attitudes and facilitate mutual consideration.

Within the framework of PBL, participants (teachers, student-teachers, school psychiatrists, teaching assistants, parents…) work collaboratively in small groups in order to reflect on these problems and to collectively generate solutions.

The course convenor (teacher educator, lecturer, instructor…) acts as a facilitator in the process, providing multiple sources of information and support to the different groups.

PBL has been highlighted as a practice which engages participants in critical reflection and promotes active learning.

3.2. What participants say about Problem Based Learning

(Initial teacher education for future nursery and primary teachers, post-course feedback, Mary & Young, 2010).

[PBL] allows you to ask questions, to think things over together, to exchange with each other and in this way to learn from your peers while being confronted with a problem situation that you must resolve.

What was interesting was to confront different ideas and to combine them to see how we could put them into practice. I already had some ideas concerning the subject, but the group work allowed me to find more suggestions.

Through pertinent group work where each person was able to contribute something, we built up some ideas around how we would manage the possible case of a child recently arrived from abroad, the different languages and consequently the academic and social integration of a pupil who is different. We were able to imagine concrete situations and discuss them within our group in order to overcome our difficulties and to consider such a situation in a more confident way.

3.3. References

Mary, L. & Young, A. (2010) "Preparing Teachers for the multilingual classroom: Nurturing reflective, critical awareness”, pp. 195-219 in Ehrhart, S. Hélot, C. & Le Nevez, A. (ed.), Plurilinguisme et formation des enseignants : Une approche critique / Plurilingualism and Teacher Education: a critical approach, Peter Lang, Frankfurt, Germany.