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Cultivating a Free-Range Learning Environment For a Wide Range of Learners

Cultivating a Free-Range Learning Environment For a Wide Range of Learners
Bullis Series: Faculty Presents
By Stacey Roshan

Preamble

This article is part of an ongoing series that highlights recent presentations delivered by Bullis faculty at conferences and workshops throughout the DMV region. Speaking engagements like these allow our teachers to showcase the innovative ways they are connecting with our students and inspiring deep learning.

 

Dr. Duruhan Badraslioglu | Upper School Science Teacher
Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools Virtual Workshop

Speaking Opportunity

Dr. Duruhan Badraslioglu

Einstein famously said, “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” He would know; he was told he would "never amount to anything" multiple times by his teachers when he was young. Even as we serve a wide range of learners including those with ADHD, dyslexia, executive dysfunction, and other learning differences — with confirmed diagnosis or not — we still tend to assume “one size fits all” when it comes to teaching and learning. Rather than taking a reactive approach, any teacher can have a set of proactive steps in place for all kinds of learners that minimize feelings of incompetence and maximize student interest, efficiency, productivity, and participation in the classroom.

With a medical background and more than two decades of experience with a wide range of learners as an educator, Dr. Duruhan Badraslioglu, known as Dr. B to his students, will share several common-sense, experience-based, field-tested, and fine-tuned pedagogical practices and observations that lessen unnecessary wear and tear on both the students and the teachers while maximizing “time, talent and treasure.” Simply put, as in Philip C. Stead’s children's book, “The bear has a story to tell.”

I have worked with hundreds of students in my career as an educator. I felt the need to share my observations and experiences in the classroom with a larger audience in the hopes that they might help other educators and even parents. One thing that I believe is that if there are 20 students in a classroom, there are 20 types of learners. I think there are ways to fine-tune the learning experience, rather than taking a “one-size fits all” approach. I wanted to emphasize the benefits of common-sense methods that I have found highly effective with a variety of learners. For example, repetition of concepts is great for students, but in order to cast a wide-net to capture a variety of learners, it should be done in different formats. Everything I say in my presentation can be summarized in one sentence: What we do in the classroom in terms of pedagogy, from the design and timing to the execution of lessons, should be intentional. Duruhan Badraslioglu, Upper School Science Teacher

The Experience

Dr. B felt inspired by the other Bullis faculty members presenting through the Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools and other similar conferences.

I felt the 'call of the wild' to share some of the hard-earned wisdom I acquired over the last two decades. Dr. Duruhan Badraslioglu

He shares that the speaking was a great learning experience, allowing him to connect with teachers from other area schools and gather valuable feedback. With 32 curious teachers actively participating in his session, Dr. B received questions that prompted him to reflect afterward.

With this experience under his belt, and ideas for improvements for next time already forming, Dr. B looks forward to the next opportunity to present to a similar group of professional educators.

Cultivating a Free-Range Learning Environment For a Wide Range of Learners - Dr Duruhan Badraslioglu

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