Getting to know students
by Mohammad T Habibyar, Herat University
As teachers we are responsible for all the students in a classroom. All students deserve equal rights regardless of the differences in their level of knowledge, thought, language, interest, color, sex, and race. However, understanding of students’ background knowledge, interest, and learning profile for the purpose of helping students will help an instructor be more successful and effective in her job. All students in a classroom have the right to participate in the lesson, express their thoughts, and find their teacher interested in teaching them new things. This is why there is a lot of emphasis on the theory of differentiated instruction. The aim of differentiated instruction is to meet the individual demands of the students and to maximize the quality of teaching and learning based on the understanding of these differences.
The teacher aims to help her students by accepting their individual differences and adapting the classroom activities and lessons to meet those differences. She designs her teaching skills, contents, and classroom activities in a way that will involve all students in the lesson.
This is only possible when a teacher has some basic information about her students’ background knowledge, skills and experiences, present status and future anticipations. The following questionnaire will help the teachers get to know their students. I recommend that the teachers use this the first day of the class and if students can’t get it done in the classroom, let them take it home and fill in the questionnaire. Perhaps a teacher could divide her students in groups considering the information she has got from the students or do much more with that!
Click here to access the questionnaire created by Tariq Habibyar.
• Eaton, V. (1996). http://www.ualberta.ca/~jpdasddc/incl/intro.htm#top. Retrieved July 27, 2008, from http://www.ualberta.ca/~jpdasddc/incl/difinst.htm: http://www.ualberta.ca
• Tomlinson, C.A., & Allan, S.D., (2000). Leadership for differentiating schools and classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD
Mohammad Tariq Habibyar is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Education of Herat University. His professional goal is to serve his country through education. "Self-confidence and the desire to help others has been two key factors for my success in life!"
More by the author:
• A Utopian School
•The Use of Internet for Teaching Purposes