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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Differentiation for Learning. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds One of the key elements in a differentiated classroom is the relationship between the teacher and students. Differentiation presents challenges for students, and so they need a safe learning environment in which they feel OK about revealing their ideas and where making mistakes and learning from them is accepted. [CHILDREN TALKING] Ooh, I agree with all of these except one. There is one here that you said is true, that’s not true. [CHILDREN TALKING] Can you check it? Right. How do you know, Sophie? How do you know that that one’s false? So creating a learning culture where students are keen to have a go at more challenging activities, rather than opting for the easier option, is important.

The importance of relationships

Chris discusses the importance of the relationship between the teacher and the students in establishing a classroom culture where all are motivated to learn.

The teacher needs to develop a learning culture in their classroom where students are motivated to choose more challenging activities that they will learn more from rather than opting for the easier option; and that failure - ‘getting things wrong’ - is a normal and necessary part of learning, and of scientific practice.

We will build on the ideas of motivation of all learners, classroom culture and the importance of the teacher-student relationship again in Week 5 when we hear our teachers’ reflections on their practice and consider the mindsets of all in the classroom.

In the next step we ask you to consider how you could apply the ideas discussed here.

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This video is from the free online course:

Differentiation for Learning

National STEM Learning Centre