In Episode 102 of the Teaching Python podcast with Kelly and Sean, the topic is learner variability, based on an article by Jessica Jackson of the Digital Promise Project. This episode discusses how to effectively teach programming to a diverse group of learners, and how to adapt to the individual needs and learning styles of each student.
One key point discussed in the podcast is that students learn at different times and at different rates, and it is important for teachers to recognize and accommodate this variability. The old theory of learning styles, which suggests that individuals have a preferred style of learning and that teaching should be tailored to these preferences, has been debunked as a myth. Instead, research suggests that the most effective way to teach is to use a variety of methods and approaches, and to allow students to engage with the material in different ways.
In addition to incorporating teaching strategies such as scaffolding, differentiation, and formative assessment, it is also important for teachers to consider the various learning factors that may impact their students. This includes designing for students who may be at the margins, such as those who are struggling or those who are advanced. It also involves designing with context in mind, taking into account the unique experiences and background of each student. This can include cultural factors, language barriers, and any prior knowledge or skills that may be relevant to the material being taught.
Designing with the whole child in mind involves considering not just the cognitive aspects of learning, but also the social and emotional aspects. This may involve creating a positive and supportive learning environment, and being attuned to the needs and well-being of each student. Finally, designing for powerful experiences involves creating engaging and meaningful learning activities that are likely to have a lasting impact on students. By considering these various learning factors, teachers can create more effective and inclusive learning experiences for their students.Support Teaching Python
- Learner Variability Teacher Guide.pdf - Google Drive — The Learner Variability Project In the Field: A Guide to Understanding and Addressing Learner Variability
- Learner Variability Navigator | Learner Variability Project — Learners thrive when their experience is personal and meaningful. This free tool helps you find research-based strategies that support the whole learner so you can create better learning experiences today.
- Homepage - Digital Promise — Digital Promise shapes the future of learning and advances equitable education systems by bringing together solutions across research, practice, and technology.