In inclusive learning we need to consider the diversity of a student body and make efforts not to exclude anyone be it intended or unintended. “Some students could feel excluded during your session if their particular needs are not met,” Gravells (2012:56). Inclusive learning is simply “involving all students, treating them equally and fairly,” Gravells (2012:56). The field of self-defence includes physical, philosophical and physiological elements which allows for a large range of learning and teaching strategies.
A new course would begin with the filling out of an enrolment form and discussions which give participants an initial platform to put across any concerns or specific needs, the initial discussion can also be used as an icebreaker that everyone is involved with. A great deal of self-defence training will be scenario based giving the students the freedom to work and discuss their own scenarios and also those from other student’s viewpoints. When the discussions and enrolment forms are completed I would be able to better tailor the learning and teaching strategies some of which are: The participants will be shown a technique/drill with explanation which can include a handout. This method is directed by the instructor to allow the students to see and come to some understanding of what is expected and some of problems they may face. (Presentations – the didactic approach/ the psychomotor domain). • They will then move on to practice the technique so that there can be a greater understanding of how it feels to do, rather than see or be told (Participative/interaction/ the psychomotor domain).
The student can be individually assessed and alterations can be suggested, finally an open discussion and general assessment of that which has been learnt will allow the students to put forward any queries or suggestions. • Group work will be introduced in which the group can discuss various self-defence scenarios, role playing or work in a team when analysing case studies, before presenting their findings (Discovery/search/ the affective domain/ the cognitive domain).
The range of learning strategies used in a typical self-defence lesson allows for a more effective lesson and more motivated students, “studies have shown that over a period of three days, learning retention is as follows. • 10% of what you read • 20% of what you hear • 30% of what you see • 50% of what you see and hear • 70% of what you say • 90% of what you say and do. (Pike 1989) If your students can incorporate reading, hearing, seeing, saying and doing during your session, their learning retention should increase. Gravells (2012:30) Because the fields of read, hear, see, say and do are covered in the self-defence class the opportunity for a learner to participate fully are increased. Flemings VARK: Visual, Aural, Read/Write, Kinaesthetic Gravells (2012:31) also looks at the differing learning styles which are used within the lessons to support learners. From a self defence perspective: demonstrating and explaining a technique (Visual/Aural) with the added handout (Read/write) followed by practice and discussion (kinaesthetic) follows Fleming’s principles of the four learning styles.
Aspects of inclusive learning include: • Entitlement: everyone is entitled to fair treatment and the chance to learn. There can be no bias towards an individual or group because of who they are their background, lifestyle, or situation. There must be an understanding that even getting to a course for some can be problematic whether it be financial, childcare, access or any number of reasons, there are many ways to help a student access the learning they require, whether it be via private organisations, charities or government funding. Equality: “can be described as everyone is different, but having equal rights. ” Gravel (2012:54) Although students will have their individuality they should be treated equally regardless of their, race, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief, gender , gender identity, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership or age. “Students seem keen to fit in at university and tend to focus on the similarities between themselves and other students.
But when it comes to classroom learning, they value having their individual academic and social identities acknowledged and their particular needs addressed. ” Hockings (2008:3) • Inclusivity: It is of importance that the tutor makes all efforts to include all students in the learning environment. Correctly planning lessons, creating a friendly non judgmental atmosphere and including a range of teaching styles will help learners feel included.
By understanding the needs of the individual, social, physical and academic the tutor can eliminate any feelings of exclusion. • Diversity: Everyone is different and these differences need to be valued, the tolerance of different cultures, beliefs, races, ages and gender to name a few, needs to be of importance not only to the tutor but the students as well. Creating a classroom atmosphere of valuing and understanding individual experiences and views can be achieved through ground rules and by the example set by the tutor. Differentiation: With the understanding that all students are different the tutor will need to plan the lessons around these differences by using the various teaching methods available or acquiring the resources that will make the students learning experience a productive one. The inclusion of inclusive learning techniques will be selected in response to an individual’s needs; this information can be garnered via enrolment forms, induction or an informal chat.
Sometimes a learner will not want to divulge information or may not be aware of or think certain information is important the tailoring of teaching techniques may then come into effect due to formal or informal assessments. Once the assessments and enrolments are completed I would then be able to plan the lessons to suit, some examples are: • Role play: an important part of self-defence training is working through realistic scenarios one way of accomplishing this is through role play.
This method of training can be good for those that aren’t confident in their literacy or language and although some may find it embarrassing, it can be a good way for a class to bond while developing the social skills needed in self-defence. • Handouts or PowerPoint: A good way to reinforce some of the physical training is to precede or follow up with some written material, this will engage those that learn better through reading and writing, it can even have a different impact with the use of interesting visuals. Handouts can also be taken home for future reference. • Demonstration and imitation: demonstrating a technique by breaking it down nto easily manageable sections whilst giving accurate and precise instructions will give the student a good grounding in how the movement should be performed, but the real learning will be achieved when the student begins to practice the move themselves. This method allows the students to find or feel their way through a technique and will allow both the tutor and student the opportunity to assess and make alterations where needed on an individual basis. There will be many resources available to meet the needs of the learner which again would need to be assessed on an individual basis.
Correctly chosen resources can help to engage learners and promote a fuller learning experience although the methods used would need to be constantly evaluated for effectiveness. Examples of this could be: • video: The use of a short film or can be beneficial for those that have language or reading difficulties or prefer to learn by seeing as this resource can introduce effective images which at times can explain an idea better than words alone. A film can also alter the momentum of a class if attention spans begin to suffer from prolonged periods of work.
Questions can be put to the students to assess what they have learned from the film. • Assistant (voluntary or paid): Within any course there may be learners that need extra help, be it physical, emotional or academic. When this is identified the tutor can begin the process with their organisation for a learning support assistant to support those in need. • Flip chart: this can be an invaluable and versatile resource as it can be used actively in the lesson to show brainstorming ideas or have pre-prepared material which can be revealed at the appropriate time.
It will be limited to the literacy or artistic abilities of those using it (tutor or student) and may be hard for some to follow if their reading ability or eyesight is at a low level, the tutor will also need to make sure that what they put down is legible. Within the self-defence scenario assessment opportunities can be created by: • Viewing: viewing learners repeatedly practicing techniques on striking pads or working with a partner will allow assessment and alterations on an individual basis.
This is an informal method which also allows for discussion between the tutor and student to clarify any queries that may arise and can be used by the tutor to gage a student’s understanding of a technique. The downfall of this method is that it can be time consuming, to alleviate this problem the tutor can monitor from a distance and involve the whole group in any alterations which need to be made, in this way no one person needs to be singled out. Group work (large or small): a group can work though and discuss awareness scenarios or drills such as assessing the dangers and opportunities in a room before presenting their findings. This method can bond a group and promote discussion which can also become a self assessment exercise. This method may become a problem for those who are less confident and may feel overpowered by those with greater confidence. • Formal assessment: Formal assessments can be set up within the syllabus at certain points to allow students to show their progress.
The tutor would need to make clear any requirements or what the student will be assessed on and when assessments will take place at the beginning of the course, they will need to include a written list, maybe a tick box sheet which can be used to gage a students’ knowledge or skill. In a self-defence course a discussion can be added to the end of the assessment for the student to self assess their feelings on being put under scrutiny allowing them to come to an understanding of their own emotions and reactions when put under pressure.
Learners can gain opportunities to practice their Literacy and language skills via the handouts or slide presentations associated with the course or being involved in course discussions, presenting and listening to ideas, researching laws and visiting self protection websites. A section of the self-defence course will be the ability to explain what one saw verbally or on paper or accurately reading back information, handouts with purposeful mistakes or with lists of objects previously seen on a slide can be used to develop the skill of accurately seeing.
Numeracy can be practiced when taking into account details such as times of events, amounts of people involved or distances with regards to accurately giving statements. ICT skills can be practiced when researching laws, viewing websites relevant to the subject or course, writing statements or using phones or camera’s to capture evidence. Motivating learners in an inclusive environment can be achieved by first nderstanding what it is that motivates those being taught, “motivation is either intrinsic (from within) meaning the student wants to learn for their own fulfilment, or extrinsic (from without), meaning there may be an external factor motivating the student. ” Gravells (2012:40). Once established there are numerous ways to engage and motivate, some examples are: • Creating a relevant learning experience which can be achieved by allowing the students to use their own experiences to form the basis for a lesson (in self-defence this can be achieved by having individuals put forward scenarios to discuss or work through). Keeping the class momentum up by being aware of student attention spans and the need to alter teaching methods if those used are not effective with the current students. • Praise and encourage individual achievements by giving ongoing and constructive feedback through informal assessments or discussions. • Ask open questions which create relevant discussions which will engage students. • Have clear and defined targets so that students are clear as to their goals and what is required on the course. • Use different teaching approaches. Keep the learning interesting and relevant to the course and the individuals attending. Within the learning environment it is necessary to establish ground rules early on, usually in the first lesson so that learners have a framework from which to work which will promote respect for others and set appropriate boundaries so that everyone will understand what is expected from them during the course/lesson. “If not set, problems may occur which could disrupt the session and lead to misunderstandings or behaviour problems. Gravells (2012:91). Ground rules which are set to promote respect for others must take into account those things which some may regard as innocent but may have a negative effect on other classmates. Often a discussion at the beginning of the course can be used to involve students in the setting of ground rules, some examples are: • Smoking: a no smoking policy can be agreed (smoking indoors is banned although some locations can be exempt), although it would be prudent and fair to have agreed smoking breaks for those that need them. Offensive language or behaviour: agreeing amongst the group the boundaries set with regards to the use of inappropriate jokes, stereotyping etc. This can be incorporated into a self-defence class with a discussion on how the seemingly innocent actions of an individual may seem offensive to another and cause conflict due to differences in perception. • Respecting others views: Respecting that everyone’s voice has the right to be heard and every opinion is valid, this can be achieved by understanding that it is inappropriate to interrupt or speak over a classmate. Being punctual: It can be put forward that having to wait for an individual disrupts the class flow and can show a lack of regard for those that are punctual and ready to learn. • Turning off mobile phones: again this can be viewed as a disruption and off-putting for those that have the come to and have the right to learn. • The instructor: is integral in the attitude towards others within the lesson, being punctual, professional, respectful and polite from the outset will set the mood of the class and the standard by which others will act.
Constructive feedback is an important part of the communication process and can be used to reinforce positive behaviour and alter negative behaviour. Effectively delivered feedback can boost self-esteem and encourage progression. Some ways to give constructive feedback are: • Informal: speaking to an individual or a group during or after an observation or task, allowing for a two-way discussion to clarify any points and focus on positive development. • Formal: written feedback or discussion, again this should also be a two way process where the individual has the opportunity to discuss the feedback.
This could be done in two parts, the written feedback and then an individual meeting to discuss the positive steps available for further development. • Specific: Feedback will need to include facts which increase progress. When practicing a physical self-defence technique it can become necessary to alter a student’s movements to improve the technique, this feedback would also need to include the reason for the adjustment to help facilitate better understanding. Awareness: of a student’s reactions to feedback will allow for alterations so as not to offend and hinder progression. A tutors positive body language, tone and use of language can help make the feedback a positive experience. • Praise sandwich: praising the things a student has done well will make them more receptive when listening to the things they need to improve on, following this up with another positive will create the praise sandwich. Research listing:
Ann Gravells 2012 Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector: (5th edition) the new award. Hockings 2008 Teaching and learning research briefing, Learning and teaching for diversity and difference in higher education: http://www. tlrp. org/pub/documents/Hockings%20RB%2041%20FINAL. pdf Christine Hockings, April 2010 Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education: a synthesis of research, http://www. heacademy. ac. uk/resources/detail/evidencenet/Inclusive_learning_and_teaching_in_higher_education_synthesis