19 Common Application Essay Mistakes and How to …

In terms of enhancing a culture of learning, technology can also assist teachers in planning and managing tasks they typically do, including communicating with parents. Teachers can use online calendars and to-do lists and online lesson planning tools. Rather than making multiple copies of class handouts, they can post a single copy to a class website. They can use online grade books and grading tools. Technology enables them to create assessments with a variety of apps, and to provide individualized feedback to electronic documents/assignments submitted by their learners. They can even use technology to manage the noise level in the classroom.

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A second challenge for success lies in the teacher's ideological perspective, as this latter affects how one teaches. According to David Ferrero (2006), educators are divided by traditionalism and innovation. However, teaching that leads to achievement gains (e.g., via standardized testing) does not mean that educators have to choose between one or the other. There is a concept of "innovative traditionalism" that is student-centered, yet has been shown to improve standardized achievement test scores. This has been accomplished in two Chicago-area high schools by "a combination of test prep, classical content, and collaboratively developed thematic projects grounded in controversy and designed to cultivate student voice and civic engagement" (p. 11). The following table (Ferrero, 2006, p. 11) illustrates the essential differences in education's ideological divide, which can be bridged.

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Theroux (2004) addressed four ways to differentiate instruction: content (requires pre-testing to determine the depth and complexity of the knowledge base that learners will explore), process (leads to a variety of activities and strategies to help students gain knowledge), product (complexity varies in ways for assessing learning), and manipulating the environment or accommodating learning styles. Fairness is a key concept to emphasize with learners, who will recognize that not everyone will work on the same thing at the same time. They need to appreciate that not everyone has the same needs. Likewise, Hall, Strangman, and Meyer (2003) presented a graphic organizer within their work, which they called the Learning Cycle and Decision Factors Used in Planning and Implementing Differentiated Instruction and also provided a number of links to learn more about this topic. ASCD has multiple.

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Indeed, Howard Gardner has stated that multiple intelligences are not learning styles. In Gardner's view, a style or learning style "is a hypothesis of how an individual approaches the range of materials." There are two basic problems. First, "the notion of 'learning styles' is itself not coherent. Those who use this term do not define the criteria for a style, nor where styles come from, how they are recognized/assessed/exploited." Second, "When researchers have tried to identify learning styles, teach consistently with those styles, and examine outcomes, there is not persuasive evidence that the learning style analysis produces more effective outcomes than a 'one size fits all approach.' " Labeling a style (e.g., visual or auditory learner) might actually be unhelpful or inconceived. Putting a label on it does not mean the "style" fits all learning scenarios (Gardner, in Strauss, 2013).

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From an instructional styles perspective, Silver, Strong, and Perini (2007) noted that teachers who use mastery strategies focus on increasing students' abilities to remember and summarize. "They motivate by providing a clear sequence, speedy feedback, and a strong sense of expanding competence and measurable success." When focusing on interpersonal strategies, teachers use "teams, partnerships, and coaching" to help students better relate to the curriculum and each other. Understanding strategies help students to reason and use evidence and logic. Teachers "motivate by arousing curiosity using mysteries, problems, clues, and opportunities to analyze and debate." Self-expressive strategies highlight students' imagination and creativity. Teachers employ "imagery, metaphor, pattern, and what ifs to motivate students' drive toward individuality and originality." Finally, it's possible to use all four styles at the same time to achieve a balanced approach to learning (sec: Part One: Introduction, Figure B).

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The multiple intelligences approach does not require a teacher to design a lesson in nine different ways to that all students can access the material...In ideal multiple intelligences instruction, rich experiences and collaboration provide a context for students to become aware of their own intelligence profiles, to develop self-regulation, and to participate more actively in their own learning. (p. 27)