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Module D: Teaching ALL Learners

This module brings together your learning from the Education Foundations unit.

The Module has 3 parts:

The required reading for this module is the Text: Churchill et al. (2011) chapter 3, 4, 11 & 14 as noted. You have used Chapters 3 & 4 previously. Please also refer to your PPLE readings and other listed recommended readings as appropriate. A number of the 'recommended' readings from this unit are also optional readings for STS2.

Your second blog posts and comments need to refer to one of the below scenario's and The Nine Provocations as relevant. The scenario's have a few more ideas added to them. The approach is the same as last time, i.e. 'how might an understanding of all learners (and all we have studies to date) help us understand the following scenario's?'

The Scenarios for this Module are: No more additions necessary!

Wayne (3)
Wayne teaches at an inner city public high school. While he is really excited about his new job close to the inner city suburb where he lives and went to university, he’s finding that not all the students share his enthusiasm for learning. Wayne really enjoys the subject matter of his senior classes and spends a large proportion of his planning time ensuring he has the depth of content covered. However he is finding that his class is falling into two groups. In one a group a number of apparently highly motivated students are intellectually pushing him. Another group seems to consist of students who don’t really want be there. Both groups are causing Wayne concern as it appears that the ‘motivated’ group don’t engage at a deep level and instead want to know the ‘correct’ answers, while the ‘less motivated’ group are difficult for him to engage. A number of students seem to be distracted at school, he thinks they are tired or have perhaps been using drugs and alcohol. He is also concerned that a number of students seem anxious and fearful of not getting into the nearby University. When talking about his situation with a friend Wayne realised he is torn between the need to make learning interesting and relevant for a number of his students and the pressure from others to prepare for the end of school exams.

Jane (3)
Jane is at the end of her first year at reasonably remote rural central school. Jane grew up in a nice suburb as the second child of two professional parents. Near the end of her teacher training Jane decided she wanted to start her career in a ‘disadvantaged’ community and was excited, and secretly a bit scared, about her appointment to this remote school. While the trip out was long and the landscape different, Jane was enthused by being met by the Principal and a colleague and was pleased by her comfortable teacher housing apartment. Reaching the end of her first year Jane is exhausted and starting to find herself wondering if she will return in the New Year. Even though Jane received a high Grade Point Average, loved her practicum placements and received glowing reports she feels she has struggled to engage her class. She feels the students don’t want to do her work, and that her classes are at times difficult to control. To add to this she has found the community challenging, and at times some of the parents have seemed openly hostile to the school. Jane is concerned that a number of the students seem to not be physically developed in the way she would expect, while a number of the students from more isolated farms about an hour from the school seem to not have the time to complete their homework or mix with the kids from town. If she is honest, Jane will admit she was taken back when after many late nights of preparing her lessons she overheard some parents at the club saying that 'she just doesn't give them any work thats interesting for them'.

Stan (3)
Stan has been teaching at his outer metropolitan high school for 20 years now. Over this time he has seen the community change from a reasonably affluent Anglo community, where many people lived on large semi-rural blocks to a near suburb of medium density housing and many ‘new Australians’. If you ask Stan will tell you that the school has gone down hill over the years as the students are just not what they used to be. It has changed from a small high school with a sense of community to a new reasonably large school with rows of demountable classrooms on the old oval. The sense of community has been replaced by an undercurrent of discontent with notable divisions between parents of the old community and the ‘new arrivals’. Last year a fence even went up around the school. In the past parents used to help out a lot at the school, while nowadays you hardly see a parent as they all leave on the 7am train for Sydney and don’t get back till the evening. Stan is worried that a number of the students are falling asleep in class and not keeping up with work, while some are associating with what he thinks are 'gangs'. To make matters worse Stan feels that the behaviour in the school has gone downhill over the last years and the new leadership isn't doing anything about it. They just leave it to him to battle with kids who won't sit down quietly and do the work he sets for them.

Anne (3)
Anne couldn’t believe her luck when her former school invited her back to fill in a maternity leave position. Seven years on and she is now a permanent teacher at this old private college and about to embark on an overseas exchange for a year. The school has a significant boarder population with students drawn from the city and rural areas. Anne has developed a reputation as a great teacher, with her students achieving high grades and routinely making the top 10% of the state / territory cohort. Similarly her International Baccalaureate students have achieved outstanding results. Anne is looking forward to her travels and is excited about bringing back new ideas from overseas, as well as a little personal travel. Recently Anne’s school has opened a boarding house for rural Aboriginal Students, upon her return Anne will be taking on the role of coordinating this equity initiative. She has enjoyed teaching the students in this program for the last year. While it does entail extra work in preparing work to support the students and after school tutoring, she finds it very rewarding. Anne is hoping to develop some ideas on her study tour of Canada about how to help students from different cultural backgrounds develop empathy and understanding for each other, and learn from each others experiences and ways of viewing the world. Anne is particularly concerned about managing the homework and preparation needs of her students, lately she is finding that the pre-class reading and revision is not being completed and she has to waste time in class when they should be exploring the material in depth. The weekly revision test marks have been slipping as a result.

Tracy (3)
Tracy knew the first few years of her career would be busy and exhausting, however she never thought she’d be one of those statistics of early career attrition. For three years now Tracy has been working at a new outer suburban private school. The opportunity to be on the staff of a brand new school was extremely exciting, especially for a first job. She had great plans to develop rich learning tasks, and cultural clubs. However she is now becoming disillusioned as the school council appears solely focussed on the schools NAPLAN results, the MySchool website and the uniform. She has fought for three years now get support for cross-curricular learning programs and the students just don’t seem to want to take part in activities out of school hours that are not linked to their assignments. To make matters worse Tracy is finding the parents increasingly difficult to deal with, especially as they seem to support their own children at the expense of others and the school as a whole. Tracy is worried that the students are not being exposed to other experiences, and instead are generally being expected to study and focus on getting a good ATAR. A number of parents have asked for a weekly study guide and practice tests to assist their children's revision.