Improving Teaching and Learning

Response to intervention (RTI) is a system that allows teachers/instructors to identify students and classify them. In other words, instead of performing assessments to determine if a student needs differentiated instruction or not, RTI promotes a methodology that consist on continuous screening in order to assess student progress. Students who are found to be progressing as expected (relative to academic curricula) will continue receiving standard education (Beecher 1). Conversely, those students found to be lagging in terms of progress, will be immediately subjected to differentiated instruction interventions so that they can progress and eventually catch up with those students who are performance in accordance to pre-established standards.

Assistive Technology (AT) is another major consideration that must be taken into account when discussing RTI. RTI comprises a system of differentiated instruction for students that are unable to progress in accordance to general instruction provided in schools. Students’ inability to perform in accordance to generally established criteria may occur due to a number of reasons, one of which is disability. In order to increase the effectiveness of RTI among disabled students it is important to integrate it with AT.

AT has caught the attention of the academic community in general given that research has demonstrated that it “can hold great promise in empowering individuals with disabilities to be more functional in communicating with others, having access to leisure activities, and learning academic and social communicative skills” (Kennedy and Deshler 293). In other words, AT allows for disabled students to integrate more normally with the classroom (and the student body in general). This is necessary in a learning environment, especially when differences between students are exacerbated, or magnified, by other differentiating factors such as ethnicity and language; “there is an obvious, large gap in knowledge regarding how to work with students from different backgrounds such as ELLs and ELLs with disabilities.

In today’s world, online education grows at a rapid. It appears that as technological innovation continues to integrate society and enhance communications, the tendency will be towards online learning (Mavrou 45). Acknowledging the importance of online education, as well as its increasing popularity among high school students, it becomes important to understand the challenges associated with this new modality of high school learning.

A fourth strategy may be Organizational Learning (OL), which is simply the ability that an institution/organization has to enhance its sustainability and viability in the long term. Organizational Learning can be described using different models; whatever model is ultimately chosen, leaders need to be familiar with it in order to correctly implement it on all organizational levels (Mavrou 48). In the end, OL materializes when employees engage in training and learning process that ultimately translates into an enhanced performance. Organizations must pursue OL through intentional and social interactive processes; technology is another valuable resource in enhancing employee performance through OL.

By pursuing any of these strategies, teachers can come closer together with their students, thus building bridges that make it possible for education to become more inclusive. As well, it will be possible to promote democratic values, equity, and diversity, since these strategies offer a universalization of access and quality of received instruction.

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