Is every students' learning experience the same?

How do we know or ascertain whether every student has the same learning experience, or more so, the same learning opportunities irrespective of which classroom they step into?  I guess when I’m talking about learning opportunities, what I’m really referring to is the opportunity to achieve and progress.  Therefore, when I’m talking about the ‘same’ learning opportunities, I’m talking about the equal opportunity to achieve and progress regardless of which subject, which teacher, or which classroom the student steps into during the course of the school day.  This may sound like a relatively straight forward question, with which many may argue, should have relatively straight forward answers or solutions.  However, nothing could be more further from the truth.

There are a multitude of different variables that potentially impacts on the type of learning experience that students may encounter.  This includes course content, resourcing and arguably the most significant, course delivery.  If say, we were referring to students within one school, there may be minor resourcing variances between one department to the next, but is resourcing (as a whole) likely to vary so greatly within a school, that this is the major cause for inconsistent learning opportunities?  Debatable. Course content on the other hand can vary greatly from one learning area or curriculum area to the next.  Some subjects may be more process-orientated such as Technology and the use of technological practice and the design process, in comparison say to other Learning Areas that may be more content-driven.  Or the medium by which students learn such as Art or Catering and Hospitality; these subjects may have substantially different delivery methods than say Mathematics.  


Those variables aside, course delivery or workflow is an area of teaching that has the potential to be packaged in the most consistent manner. That is not to say that teachers need to religiously follow and undertake every single learning activity in exactly the same way as every other colleague in the school. However, it is possible to obtain consistency of course delivery or workflow, through the use of a framework, or guidelines to focus a collaborative and collective approach towards the execution of teacher practice, and ultimately student learning and achievement.

At this stage I'd also like to raise the difference between the life experiences and prior knowledge that students may bring to the learning table, versus the learning opportunities that students have access to, through their schooling experience. Whilst life experiences can greatly impact on differences in learner perspectives, this is not to say, that variances in teacher practice is justifiable in terms of the learning opportunities that learners be presented with.

And so, it will be really interesting to see and hear what learners have to say on the situation through student voice ... watch this space!



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