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Child Focused Learning

I sat in my ED: Social Studies class the other day when we were told the whole notion of focusing the needs of the child rather than the subject matter. We were asked a very thought provoking question – “As more and more teachers move from the subject matter to the student, what effect will this have on future classrooms?”

The big change I speculate in this was the possibility of 2 teacher classrooms. As we as teachers focus more and more on the individual student and his/her strengths, weaknesses, and needs, I feel class sizes will become increasingly important. It will become increasingly difficult to focus on all 20, 30 or even 40 students in class as we try to meet the needs of every single students in the context of child focused learning.

Personally, I would make it a professional goal to work with the ministry to perhaps do a study. I would be interested in knowing how effective a 2 teacher classroom would be. Obviously there are issues with this, the most prevalent being cost, but it would be nice knowing what the benefits are as well as the drawbacks of having 2 main instructors within a class.

In Saskatchewan, we boast one of the lowest teacher – student ratios in Canada, mainly due to sparse population and numerous rural communities. We also have sub average scores on standardized tests in comparison to the rest of Canada. Though correlation does not equal causation, I often wonder if there is any relation between standardized testing and highly populated classes.

It is clear that lower class sizes make child focused learning easier for the teacher but with this being impossible in larger urban centers, does the addition of a second teacher allow classes to focus on the individual’s development, or does it simply create chaos with multiple models of leadership?

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