An investigation of the dimensions of learner diversity: material (class, locale), corporeal (age, race, sex and sexuality, and physical and mental characteristics) and symbolic (culture, language, gender, family, affinity and persona). Examines social-cultural theories of difference, as well as considering alternative responses to these differences in educational settings - ranging from broad, institutional responses to specific pedagogical responses within classes of students. The course also focuses on the application of learning technologies and new media to meet the needs of diverse populations of learners. Its main practical question is, how do we use educational technologies to create learning environments in which learning experiences can be customized and calibrated to meet the precise needs of particular learners? Topics include: universal design for learning, differentiated instruction systems, and adaptive and personalized learning environments.
COURSE ORIENTATION + Learner Differences
-This opening module gets participants started in the course, and introduces some key ideas about the social context of learner differences.
Diversity in US Education and Differences in Theory
-In this module, we examine some specifics of learner diversity in the US context, then some general concepts in a theory of learner differences.
Should Education be a Right?
-In this module, we focus on the US case, first with an historical analysis of the emergence of public education, then with a case study of Asian Americans.
Postcolonial Theory and Education + The Inclusive School
-This final module in the course takes an international perspective on issues of social diversity and learning, then addresses the agenda of developing an inclusive education.