In the first chapter, “Climbing Out of the Gap: Supporting Dependent Learners to Become Independent Thinkers,” Hammond highlights the teaching and learning gap that exists between culturally and linguistically diverse students and their white, English-speaking peers. Ms. Hammond does not specifically speak to students with disabilities, but we know that diverse learning styles compound the challenges of culturally and linguistically diverse students in our education system – and I encourage us to keep this in mind as we reflect on our current practice and possible ways to grow and improve our practice.
“Classroom studies document the fact that underserved English learners, poor students, and students of color routinely receive less instruction in higher order skills development than other students. Their curriculum is less challenging and more repetitive. Their instruction is more focused on skills low on Bloom’s taxonomy. This type of instruction denies students the opportunity to engage in what neuroscientists call productive struggle that actually grows our brainpower. As a result, a disproportionate number of culturally and linguistically diverse students are dependent learners” (p.12-13).
Alli Guilfoil, Director of Academic Intervention