Evaluate how to address a specific issue that relates to the education of diverse learners (e.g., instructional adaptations/modifications for special needs students in the classroom, strategies for maximizing the potential of gifted students, the assessment of diverse learners, etc.).

Specific issues which relate to the instruction of diverse learners include whether or not teachers should choose to differentiate or scaffold these students, as well as the effectiveness of current assessment practices, like essays, for students with additional needs.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As a teacher, one of the major areas of debates relates to whether we should differentiate or scaffold our students with additional needs. Differentiation means that we would provide different tasks and activities, so their learning plan might look quite different to students who do not have additional needs. In contrast, scaffolding means that all of our students complete the same tasks and have the same learning plan but we provide structured support to help those with additional needs. There is considerable debate around which of these two methods is the most effective. Provided is a reference link with some in-text citations, which may be worth exploring.

Another area of debate relates to how to assess students with additional needs. Again, educators disagree over whether or not we should create different assessments for these students, particularly as we measure their progress over the course of a semester or academic year. Usually, this means focusing less on structured or essay-style assessments because we know that so many students struggle with longer pieces of writing. In contrast, some educators advocate support strategies to help them access mainstream assessments, like having access to a scribe or reader. It would be interesting to research how different types of needs affect assessment performance and outcomes, considering specifically if students with additional needs are inhibited by current practice. See the reference link for some relevant in-text citations.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team