You can't walk where I walk
It's all down to individual perception - what psychologists call the 'representation of reality'. My reality is slightly different to yours and yours from mine. It has little to do with you and I viewing the same thing from slightly different angles, although sometimes that can be a factor in creating different perceptions. No, it's not about different angles, it's about different perspectives. A number of variables cause each of us to view life uniquely, and to represent reality from different perspectives, including our age, gender, culture, background, health, preferences, personal beliefs, in fact just about everything that wire our brains uniquely, and make us individuals. When teachers attempt to differentiate learning, they generally focus on aptitude and ability or in some cases, whether a student has a disability. Some teachers are sidetracked into considering 'learning styles' but that is a big mistake, as I have previously discussed. Carl Rogers advocated 'unconditional positive regard', a philosophy that plays out when every student is considered to be of equal worth in the classroom, regardless of their previous 'form'.
What teachers should be focused upon is the whole child, and how they perceive life and represent reality differently to everyone else in the room. Differentiation should encourage diversity not simply make provision for it. It should celebrate the fact that we are all different, and include every single voice in the classroom, giving each an equal weight. That's hard to achieve, but with some fore thought and practice, and a great deal of patience, teachers can encourage each student to participate fully and play to their individual strengths. We are not that different from each other really. We all have the same needs, to be respected, to feel we belong to the group and to have a voice. Each of us is the same, but in uniquely different ways. If you can understand that, then you will understand why you can't walk where I walk.
Photo by Steve Wheeler
You can't walk where I walk by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.