Is there such a thing as a perfect classroom? I argue that there isn’t. Partly because the type of students’ attending colleges and universities is constantly changing and so are their needs. College and universities are more diverse now than they have ever been. So I think one of the most important aspects in classrooms is to know your audience. Who is in the classrooms? What backgrounds, SES (socio economic status), experiences and exposures are the students’ in the classrooms bringing? And I am certain that each semester the classroom makeup looks different. So how is it ok to have the same content, teaching styles, lectures or materials, be taught each semester as if everyone in the room is the same, learns the same way and is bringing the same preparation to the classroom.
I believe that one way teachers/faculty can make classrooms inviting, engaging and learning environments is by remaining flexible, creative and open minded instead of coming into the classrooms with a prescriptive/ set curriculum. There is a difference between goals and learning outcomes for the classroom and pre set (class by class) lectures/ teaching methods by the teachers. By understanding who is in the classroom, the teacher should co-develop classroom materials that best meets the needs of the students each semester. Some thing they should consider is: What if there are more student in a classroom with learning disabilities or students who are introverts and engaging in group work causes them additional anxiety/ stress and they cannot learn, what if there are students who don’t play games because that is not the best way they learn for them. So how can I (the teacher) develop a curriculum that meets the diverse needs of the students at least half way …if not all the way.
So Is there value in knowing your classroom audience? Is it possible to create classrooms that meets the needs of diverse students ?