Does catering to individual differences mean teaching 30 different curriculums to 30 different students in one classroom? Or does it mean aiming at the “average” and taking the middle ground in content? In practice, it is impossible to devise a curriculum for each student in a class. However, education aims to enable each student to attain all-around development according to his/her abilities. To achieve this, students should be provided with suitable assistance and guidance by their learning needs, so that they can develop their potential to the fullest.
Each student is a unique individual, different in cognitive development, social maturity, motivation, aspiration, learning styles, and potential. Apart from this, there are other factors underlying student differences. These include innate differences in intelligence, differences in social and economic background, and variations in past learning experiences. The ultimate goal is to stretch the potential of all students whether they are gifted or among the low achievers. Hence, finding out why students do not learn well and why some learn better than others, will help in using appropriate intervention and adopt effective strategies.
Student diversity can be embraced as a useful way of adding variety to classroom practice. To address the needs of all categories of students, we as teachers should provide them with a variety of learning opportunities such as using diversified resources, a spectrum of intelligence, and multi-sensory experiences.
The “Educator Tools” have a great influence in supporting the teaching process. Our Ekya Tool kit has a great collection of effective learning strategies to bring out the best in students. A student who is engaged in class is likely to learn more than the ones who are not and hence it is very important to plan for engaging content.
The Entry Ticket and Do Now tool helps the students to focus on key concepts and ideas that need to be delivered for the day. The “Round Table “ discussion tool as part of Engage and explore is an amazing tool that works both online and offline. The most effective thing about this strategy is that each student within the group has an equal opportunity to participate in the discussion. Group activities always help in student-student communication which is very important and contribute to effective learning. However, the fact that some students work in a group and others do not, can affect the participation level in the class. Hence it is important to form groups keeping individual differences in mind.
The Organise and Reflect tools such as 3-2-1 summarizer , I used to think and now I know, Exit ticket help students to record their comprehension and summarize their learning.
Laboratory and experiments are indispensable elements of science education. Experiments provide opportunities for students to develop hands-on skills and cognitive-level thinking skills by providing an active learning environment. Being a Science teacher I always lookout for opportunities to introduce experiments that can be done at home/lab.
Assessments give feedback to the students about their learning. Keeping the diversity of the class in mind, I sometimes allow students to produce different types of work for a given assessment. It could be a written report, a leaflet, a brochure, a script for a commercial, a meme, PowerPoint slides, a poster, or even come up with the lyrics of a jingle to fulfill the objective of the assignment.
The “one-size-fits-all” approach to curriculum development and education is outdated. Individual difference is not a burden but an opportunity to develop more constructive, active, and interactive pedagogy. Schools should not only cope with and cater to diversity but bring and encourage difference too. So let’s celebrate the differences among our students and become creative educators.
Situated at around 20-25 minutes' drive from the central Ubud district, Tegallalang Rice terraces is famous for its scenic and photogenic views. The area has become one of the most sought-after tourist destinations around Ubud and many tourists who are visiting Kintamani stop to witness the beauty and serenity of the verdant terraced rice fields.
While planning my Bali itinerary, I had kept half a day to explore the beautiful rice terraces. While reading up on the travel portals about the places to visit, most of them highlighted how a trip to Bali would be incomplete without venturing into these rice terraces. We did have our reservations about visiting this place with a toddler but went ahead.
Note: If you are visiting this place with a toddler it would be tough to explore the entire area. We had to stop beyond a point as the slopes were very steep and extremely challenging and risky to be negotiated with a kid. We made a mistake by not taking our baby carrier, though I feel even with that it is risky.
Drive from Ubud to Tegallalang rice terraces
The Tegallalang rice terraces is a 30-minutes drive from Ubud. You can either hire a self-drive car or a Taxi or rent one of the bikes to reach this place. Since we had booked our vehicle through the resort, we had a guide to help us explore the entire Island. We started at around 9 Am after having our breakfast from Nusa Dua and it took us a good 2 hours to reach the rice terraces at Tegallalang.
The greenery all around is so pleasing to the eyes. We had a perfect day with clear blue skies to visit the rice terraces.
Parking is a major problem at this place as the roads are narrow and one can hardly find any parking spot. Our driver dropped us at the entrance of the rice terraces and had to park his vehicle almost a kilometer down the road.
After reaching the Rice Terraces
The area/ road where the entrance of the rice terrace is located is pretty commercialized. Locals have understood that they can make good business as there are many hungry and thirsty tourists coming back from the trek
The hike just started – notice the wooden bridge in the backdrop, one has to cross to explore the fields. Took the photo just before crossing the wooden bridge. Notice the steep slopes that we had to walk down before crossing the bridge.
Me crossing the wooden bridge with the kiddo – really missed the baby carrier. I had to be extremely slow and careful!!!
The small refreshment stall that you can find during the hike.
You will find rows and rows of eating joints where you can grab something to eat and drink. Even while trekking inside the rice terraces, there are small outlets set up by the locals where you can grab refreshments and quick bites. There is no entry fee for the rice terraces and it is up to you to “tip” locals. As you enter the rice terraces, keep following the signs which direct you through the hiking trail. The slopes are challenging to negotiate and do not have railings. It is best advised to walk through slowly and cautiously as help is not that easy to get in case of any misadventure. There is a wooden bridge inside the farm which is maintained by the locals, and it is good practice to give a small donation – to keep the bridge functional.
Finally, the rice terraces started to appear. up close among the rice terrace slopes.
The climb gets steeper as you go deeper into the farms…
The steps do not have any railing and as you can see can become challenging while coming down… ensure that you do not miss your footing while coming down these steep slopes.
You can pay whatever you wish, but our guide mentioned that it is usually 5,000 IDR per person. Do carry a good amount of change before you venture into the farms, as you cannot expect change for higher denominations. You can also get photos taken with the villagers and try out their hats and equipment – again you need to be generous with your tips!!
The view of from the other side – notice all the pubs that have come up at the entrance. A perfect spot to grab a cool refreshment and gaze at the rice slopes.
Another shot of the trails that take you deep into the fields.
Reached the vantage point and beyond this, the slopes were very steep and tough to navigate with the little kid. We decided to call it a day and get back.
The way back was tiring as we had to come down the steep slopes. Was a bit concerned about the little one whom I was carrying? It was a slow walk back to the entrance. Took this photo after an hour of hiking back to the entrance.The visit to the rice terraces in Bali was a unique experience as I have never seen anything of this in the past. You will need around half a day to explore the entire terrace in detail. I will recommend this place to everyone who is travelling to Bali.