THE MANAGEMENT OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
For complete project materials and assignments call us with 07068634102
This seminar paper examines the Management of individual differences among pupils in primary schools. The paper discloses that individual differences are a variation that distinguishes a child from another in their totality which makes each child unique. Pupils achieve this uniqueness through a complex interplay between genetic and environmental influences. These influences make them differ in physical attributes, cognitive abilities and style, language functioning and in their personality characteristics. Four different approaches have been highlighted for the management of these differences in the classrooms. Such as modifying events of instruction, classroom grouping, individualized instruction and mastery learning. Based on these issues examined, some recommendations were made for efficient handling of pupils’ individual differences, which is the provision of appropriate stimulation and encouragement to pupils based on their intellectual functioning and so on.
The Management of Individual Differences in Primary Schools
Sivadas (2012) sees management as all
the activities and tasks undertaken by one or more persons for the purposes of
planning and controlling the activities of others in order to achieve an
objective. Management as a course of study has to do with the administration,
knowledge and understanding of the group of people to be led.
National Policy on Education (2012) explains Primary Education as education given in primary schools for children aged six to eleven years plus. In addition, the primary level is the key to the success or failure of the whole system. As the bedrock upon which all other educational levels are built, the National Policy on Education (2012) stipulates the following goals which needs to be achieved since education is seen as the key to national development. The goals included:
For complete project materials and assignments call us with 07068634102
– To inculcate permanent literacy and
numeracy and ability to communicate effectively in pupils.
– To lay a sound basis for scientific
and reflective thinking among pupils.
– To give Citizenship Education as a
basis for effective participation in pupils and for them to contribute to the
life of the society.
– To mould pupils’ characters and also
to help them develop sound attitude and morals.
– To develop in pupils the ability to
adapt to their changing environment.
– To give the pupils opportunities to
develop manipulate skills that will enable them function effectively in the
society within the limit of their capacities.
– To provide the pupils with basic
tools for further educational advancement, including preparation for trades and
craft of the locality.
These goals form the basis of primary
education within the federation. For all the pupils in primary schools to
learn, acquire knowledge and skills at the same pace and time for the
actualization of the above goals, efficient handling of individual differences
among pupils in the classroom is of paramount. Although, pupils are human
beings with developed brains, each pupils is unique, no two pupils can be said
to be exactly the same even when they are of the same parenthood or identical
twins. Each pupil achieves this uniqueness as a result of a complex interplay
between genetic and environmental influences. These differences therefore call
for additional effort by the classroom teachers for more effectiveness.
This seminar paper will concentrate on
the concept of individual differences, areas of individual differences among
pupils, causes of individual differences among pupils and the management of
individual differences among pupils in the classroom.
According to the Dictionary of
Education, individual differences stand for the variation or deviations among
individuals in regards to single characteristics. It tells the differences
which in their totality distinguish one individual from another. Simply, one
could say that individual differences among humans distinguish or separate them
from another and makes one or single unique individual.
AREAS OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES AMONG
PUPILS IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
Bassett (2000) disclosed different areas
of individual differences (variations) among pupils in the classroom. These
1. Individual Differences in Physical
Pupils in the classroom differ in their physical attributes which distinguish
them from one another. These attributes include, sex, height, weight, age,
colour of eyes, skin, hairs, fingers and toes structures.
2. Individual Differences in cognitive abilities and styles: Pupils’ individual differences in cognitive abilities and styles are of different ranges. Each pupil possessed a unique profile of cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Some pupils are gifted and talented to learn more faster than others because of their major strength in convergent thinking. Such pupils have the ability to think clearly and apply same in situations that need concrete materials or figures learning. Others will do their best in the area of divergent thinking. Amongst these, some pupils perform better in symbolic tasks while few pupils do best in semantics. Still, there are pupils who are highly creative, showing flexibility, fluency and creativity in their interactions with their environment. Cognitive style in pupils differ in terms of sensory orientation, responsive mode and thinking pattern, some pupils learn through the use of senses, motor activities, use of language, and cues. Others work best in groups or independently. Some are active participants while others are observers.
3. Individual differences in language
Pupils in a particular classroom are prone to variations in language
functioning even when they come from the same socio-economic homes and cultural
background. Pupils vary in their command of vocabulary, precision of the
concepts they have developed, their abilities to facilitate problem solving
through the use of language, their verbal fluency and creativeness (Bassett et
al, 2000). Pupils differ in language competence and performance both in their
mother-tongue and English language.
4. Individual Differences in Personality
characteristics in pupils include emotions, motivations, attitudes and values,
self concept and locus of control.
5. Individual Differences in Emotion: Some pupils in
primary schools feel insecure when they are not loved by their parents or
caregivers because their homes are emotional unstable. Their parents fight or
quarrel regularly; their pupils will be so preoccupied with such needs and can
hardly think of higher needs like self-esteem and actualization. They lost
interest and concern academically due to poor relationship with classroom
teacher and mates.
6. Individual Differences in Motivation: Pupils in the
classroom are faced with some challenges which need to be addressed before they
can perform effectively in their academics. Most pupils display differences in
their needs for achievement. The need is very strong in some pupils but appear
weak in others. Also, there are others who could still strive for excellence
taking school work as personal challenges despite no motivation. Others are
motivated to achieve because of fear of failure. Yet, others do not see the
classroom as a setting for achievement and as such do not place premium on
school success. Pupils in a class are also motivated by the need for
affiliation. For such children, if school success can bring about this
approved, they will work hard in order to achieve it. Also, if they can achieve
such affiliative and approval needs outside the classroom, they may view such
school activities as of little personal importance and will strive only
minimally toward classroom goals.
area of differences among pupils under personality traits is Locus of Control. For some
pupils success or failure is based on their actions, thus such school children
regard success in a particular area to be of personal importance and will
devote attention and energy to the learning of such tasks in order to succeed.
While others regard success or failures as a function of luck or feel that they
are pre-doomed, are most unlikely to exert energy to classroom activities.
7. Individual Differences in Values and Attitude: Pupils in different classes or the same class differ widely I n their values and attitudes. Some are ambitious, striving for such terminal values like a comfortable life while some go for special recognition and a sense of accomplishment. Some value independence, striving towards inner harmony while others seek independence in search of an exciting life. School children also have varying attitudes towards education and schooling. Some pupils are positively oriented toward education while others are not. Those who are positive see it as a means of achieving some of their life goals or as a process that can allow rewarding achievement. Those who are negative to it, view education as offering personal irrelevances and a series of unpleasant failing experiences.
(2012) explained that some pupils who are positive toward schools see it as a
place that offers them opportunity for social contacts and friendship rather
than for its academic programmes.
8. Individual Differences in Self-Concept: Self-concept is one of the personality traits
which differences is observed among pupils among pupils in their classes
depending on their prior experiences and adjustment to these experiences. Some
pupils are very dependent on others despite age and will cling to their
teacher’s personality for easy comforting attitudes, such children are anxious
to learn in order to please significant others. Such pupils because of their
inner security and a good sense of confidence can form good relationship with
peers and those around them. They can also enjoy challenges from class tasks,
provide such tasks are within their ability. Others are less easy in
themselves, striving for status through their own achievement. Their earlier
attitudes to non-accepting parents can be transferred to their teachers. Some
pupils, as they grow take pride in assuming more mature roles while others will
still cling to the certainty of earlier, less mature relationships. Some pupils
will enter the class with healthy personality while others show varying levels
of mistrustfulness, shame, doubt, or guilt.
9. Individual Differences in Motor
exist differences widely in motor abilities such as reacting time, speed of
action, steadiness, rate of muscular moment, manual dexterity and resistance to
CAUSES OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES AMONG
(2016) outlined the following as the causes of individual differences among
Some heretical traits bring a change from one individual to others. An individual’s
height, size, shape, colour of hair, shape of face, nose, hands, leg and the
entire structure of the body is determined by his heretical qualities. Heredity
contributes to sex, intelligence, growth, development and progress in pupils.
The environment influences are those which act upon the organism, at the
earlier stages of development within mother’s womb (internal environment and
later external environment) which operates from the time birth. The social
psychological environment in which, the child is born provides social heritage.
The customs, socio-economic status family, peers, church and school,
environment cause variety conditions to determine individual differences.
Environment brings individual differences in pupils’ behaviour, activities,
attitude style of life, characteristics and personality. Environment as its
implies in this context does not refer only to physical surroundings but
embodies the different types of people, community, their culture, customs,
traditions, social heritage, ideas and ideals.
Due to sex variation, one pupil differs from other. Differences exist in the
mental power of both sexes. Girls show small superiority over boys in memory,
language and aesthetic sense. Girls excel boys in shouldering social
responsibilities and have a better control over their emotions.
Age is another factor which is responsible in bringing individual differences
among pupils. Learning abilities and adjustment capacity naturally grow with
age. When one grows in age can acquire better control over higher emotions and
better social responsibilities. When a child grows, then this maturity and
development goes side-by-side.
5. Education: It is one of the major factor which brings individual differences. There is a wide gap in the behaviour of children who are educate and uneducated. All traits of human beings like social, emotional and intellectual are controlled and modified through proper education. As the name implies, education brings a change in attitude, behaviour, appreciations and personality in both children and adult. It is seen that uneducated persons are guided by their instinct and emotions whereas the educated persons are guided by their reasoning power.
THE MANAGEMENT OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES
AMONG PUPILS IN THE CLASSROOM
The aim of education is to enable each
pupil to attain all round development according to his/her own attributes. To
achieve this suitable assistance and guidance must be provided to pupils in
accordance with their abilities and learning needs so that they can develop
their potential to the full since their variety of individual differences are
of most concern to the classroom teachers. According to Hilt (2007), four
approaches have been selected for dealing with individual differences among
pupils in primary schools.
Firstly, Maheshwar (2016) opined that in
making provision for individual differences among pupils, the classroom teacher
must know about the abilities, capacities, interest, attitudes and other
personality traits of pupils in his/her classroom through pupils’ cumulative
The four approaches selected are:
1. Modifying events of instruction
2. Classroom grouping
3. Individualized instruction
4. Mastering learning
1. Modifying Events of Instruction: Hilt (2007) explained that in this approach, the classroom teachers need to modify their event of instruction so that, they specifically address pupil’s individual differences. It involves the use of varieties of attractive instructional materials that engage all the five senses during lesson delivery in the classroom. with these, the lesson will look real, clearer, less tedious, exciting, interesting and meaningful. Also, the teacher should adopt child-centred style where pupils are actively involved in the process because it permits teacher-pupils and pupil-pupil interactions in the classroom.
In addition, David Merrill (2002) added that pupils individual differences can be improved if the first principles of instruction are properly applied by teachers in the classroom during lesson delivery. For instance, during lesson presentation, the instruction should be centered on relevant real world tasks that progresses from simple to complex. Pupils despite their cognitive abilities should be activated by asking them to recall their previous experiences that is related to the new knowledge they are about to acquire. This help to lay a solid foundation for the new knowledge which enhances their learning. Also, pupils respond during lesson delivery should be given feedback. The teacher should demonstrate the new knowledge in the context of real life which of information and skilled base. The teacher should encourage the pupils to integrate the new knowledge acquired into their life through reflections like class discussion, writing and debates.
2. Classroom Grouping: Hilt (2007)
explained that the teacher should adopt within-class grouping which pupils with
different cognitive abilities are shared into three or four groups of both
sexes to carry out tasks during instruction in the classroom.
This can be otherwise called cooperative learning. Such grouping should be done in Mathematics, Basic Science, Cultural and Creative Arts instruction. This instructional strategy seems to be more flexible and less stigmatizing. It enhances the acquisition of knowledge skills by pupils because pupils with low cognitive abilities will benefit from their colleague with high cognitive abilities. Pupils who are extrovert are grouped with introvert to help them express their views during discussion.
3. Individualized Instruction: Udosen et al
(2015) explains this approach as a method of teaching in which the content,
instructional materials and pace of learning are based upon the abilities,
interest and needs of the pupils. Here, the classroom teacher groups the pupils
according to how their brain process and learn into small groupings, as in
Mathematics instruction. To add to this, the teacher should extend a topic
which pupils need more help for more than one week. Previous lesson should be reviewed
in the classes with emphasis on important facts. In a particular subject,
simple tasks with guidance should be given to low cognitive abilities pupils as
homework until when they demonstrate mastery. It can be changed to complex ones
while challenging tasks can be given to those with high abilities to assess
their capacities. Their notes should be checked, where wrongly copied, guidance
should be given individually.
Also, the teacher should advice the more
advanced pupils to help the lower level ones solve difficult problems, talk
about the content (Etuk & Afangideh, 2008).
4. Mastery Learning: According to
John Parankimalil (2015) mastery learning theorizes that all children can learn
excellently and master each learning unit if they are provided with appropriate
the class teacher to handle properly the pupils’ individual differences, he/she
should provide enough time, good quality of instruction and adequate
instructional materials in a motivational atmosphere, pupils despite the
individual differences can learn effectively and master any learning unit. This
can help to improve pupils’ intellectual functioning and self-concept.
The problem of individual differences
among pupils in the primary schools can be tacked with multi-dimensional tasks.
As classroom teachers, we must be aware of pupils’ individual differences
because it may enhance pupils’ understanding or limit their opportunity to
learn from school environment. These factors should be taken into consideration
when we plan teaching and learning process in the classrooms.
1. Classroom Environment should be rich with varied learning materials and experiences.
2. Appropriate stimulation and
encouragement should be given to pupils based on their intellectual
3. Teachers should be able to communicate
using words which will be at the level of the pupils’ age, experience and
4. Teachers should work hard to develop
positive attitude in their pupils by setting goals which are in consonant with
5. Teachers should strive to develop
positive self-concepts in their pupils by encouraging and reinforcing their
G. K. and Afangide, M. E. (2008). Curriculum
Organization and Chance. Uyo: Published by Scholars Press (Nig.) Ltd.
E. N; Udosen, A. E; Emah, E. and Afangide, M. E. (2015). Curriculum: The Basics of Planning and Implementation. Uyo: Abaam
Republic of Nigeria (2012). National
Policy on Education, Lagos: Federal Government Press.
L. E. (2007). “The Structural Basis of
Inter-Individual Differences in Human Behaviour and Cognitive” Nature Review
Neuroscience, Vol. 12:132-141.
M. D. (2002). First Principles of
Instruction Education Technology Research and Development, 50(3): 43-59.
B. (2015). Adaptive Individual Differences. Journal
of Personality, 6.7(2): 209-243.
M. (2015). Personality, Individual
Differences and Intelligence: London: Pearson Education.
United Nations (2009). The Concept of Personality between 19th Century UN and 20th Century UN, American Psychology History of Psychology, 6(2): 133-142. The Management of Individual Differences in Primary Schools, The Management of Individual Differences in Primary Schools, The Management of Individual Differences in Primary Schools, The Management of Individual Differences in Primary Schools, The Management of Individual Differences in Primary Schools, The Management of Individual Differences in Primary Schools
For complete project materials and assignments call us with 07068634102