Teaching and Learning in Diverse Classrooms

Our Teaching and Learning In Diverse Classrooms report, commissioned by the New Westminster Schools Board of Education, is our blueprint for learner success. We held many rich conversations thanks to our working group, which included students, parents, support staff, teachers, principals and vice-principals, senior management and members of the Board of Education. The Working Group also conducted a literature review of effective educational practices, drafted Belief Statements centred on teaching and learning in diverse classrooms, and articulated some draft priorities and action plans for moving forward.

Completed in 2016, Teaching and Learning In Diverse Classrooms: A District Blueprint for Learner Success, highlights four important themes that guide our work:

Our Teaching and Learning in Diverse Classrooms blueprint for learner success...

Engagement and personalized learning is a key element of the current educational transformation in British Columbia. It is important to tap into individual learner preferences and passions to ignite their motivation and desire to learn. Approaches for engaging students include inquiry-based and project-based learning, as well as frameworks such as Universal Design for Learning, a method for personalizing learning to accommodate learner differences and preferences.

Social and emotional well-being and healthy lifestyles are critically important to learning success. Students who can self-regulate set positive goals, show empathy, maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions are better equipped to be successful citizens. The core competencies that are embedded in the Ministry of Education’s redesigned curriculum are also important components of social and emotional learning.

Communicating student learning is critically important. We recognize that the purpose of assessment is to communicate clear and specific feedback for teachers, students and parents to guide instruction and acknowledge the role of descriptive, formative assessment to teaching and learning success. We also see the need to allow students the opportunity to communicate their learning in a variety of ways. The ministry’s redesigned curriculum provides the opportunity to examine assessment practices.

The responsible use of technology is recognized as a transformational educational tool for teaching and learning. We are undertaking significant structural upgrades in our district, and developing a strategic plan focused on employing those technologies that optimize learning for students.

The Teaching and Learning In Diverse Classrooms document provides an important blueprint for New Westminster Schools’ actions in moving forward to meet the needs of diverse learners in the classroom.