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Assignment 2B: Reflection

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As a teacher, it is important to recognise the diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and

socioeconomic backgrounds that will be present in the classroom (AITSL, 2016).

Given the variety of backgrounds in the classroom, teachers will face many

challenges to ensure every student is provided an equitable and inclusive learning

experience. To provide an equitable and inclusive learning experience it is crucial to

adopt a pedagogical approach that uses equity-focused policy to reduce the

emphasis on racial difference in the classroom (Moustakim, 2015). The purpose of

this reflection is to critically assess the impact and importance diversity and social

justice should have on my own and other teachers’ pedagogy.

The basis to any equitable pedagogy is the ability to have a base understanding of

the perspective of each diverse group. This does not mean the teacher needs to be

an expert in every background present however, to be successful they need to be

mindful of the differences they possess. While it would be great to see every student

as the same, the reality is that no student is the same and their background often

provides advantages or disadvantages (Ferfolja, Diaz and Ullman, 2015).

Implementing social justice perspectives in my pedagogical approach is important

because “Everyone has the right to education” (United Nations, 1948). This comes

from article 26.1 of the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ and its aim to ensure

not child grows up without education. Article 26.2 states “Education shall be directed

to the full development of human personality and to the strengthening of respect for

human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance


and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups….”. This part speaks the

loudest to why it is important to implement social justice perspectives in pedagogy as

it does not talk about content but promoting unity and equity between the diverse

backgrounds. As an educator, critical pedagogy should maintain a connection to

these goals and teach social justice in a way that challenges ‘power’ and the

dominant discourses present today (Samuels, 2014 and Ferfolja, Diaz and Ullman,

2015). Moreover, by understanding the perspectives of each background and

making adjustments to my pedagogy, I can strive to promote equity and inclusive

learning in the classroom thus increasing the students chance to believe in their own

ability and not be held back by the prejudice facing his/her background.

As part of building an equitable and inclusive pedagogy, it is vital to understand the

theoretical side social justice. Incorporating theoretical frameworks into pedagogy

provide structure and ultimately will enhance the way I will teach students. Improving

my own pedagogy using theories will have a positive causation with the learning

experience of students. The use of narrative is one way we can ensure students can

enhance their learning, by drawing real-life scenarios that are linguistically, culturally,

religiously and socioeconomically diverse student can find relation and become more

motivated in their learning (Ironside, 2014 and Gore, 2007)

There are two main pedagogical theories that I will look at when shaping my

pedagogy; Critical pedagogy, the theory of social practice and social constructivism.

Critical pedagogy was influenced by Paulo Freire, his aim was to provoke thought in

people to challenge the dominant structures and creatively participate in the


transformation of the world (Goinho, 2013 and Ferfolja, Diaz and Ullman, 2015 and

Freire, 1998). This theory involves teachers building a sense of community in the

classroom that works together to promote diversity and social justice. Bourdieu’s

theory of social practice aims to provide framework for teachers to understand the

relations of power. Finally, I will base my pedagogy of social constructivism, the idea

of this theoretical framework is that learning is a process of constructing meaning

with an emphasis on using cultural tools as a major influence (Nagel, 2013).

Furthermore, in the classroom I believe that by breaking down the ideas of dominant

discourse using Bourdieu’s work I will be able to create a pedagogy that encourages

my student to actively and creatively participate in enhancing their learning

experience. Additionally, using the ideas of social constructivism, my pedagogical

approach can utilise the various backgrounds of my student to create a communal

atmosphere thus attempting the reduce the gaps between students.

As a teacher, my philosophy is deeply rooted in the constructivist and humanist

theories of learning it is my belief a student’s education is enriched by their

experience in the classroom (Nagel, 2013). My teaching practice is one that aims to

reduce the gaps in equity faced by my students to allow them to strive to meet their

true potential as a student. As a teacher, I am more than just an educator, I am also

a leader and a role model to the next generation. By demonstrating my ability to

create equitable and inclusive learning for student, I am showing them that everyone

deserves the best opportunity to achieve regardless of their background. By leading

by example student’s will start to pick up similar traits.


Apart from my actions towards the students, my job extends outside the hours of

school. By putting in the extra hours to design lessons that are inclusive and

highlight every student’s strengths rather than their weaknesses, I am doing my part

to provide equity for all students. As a science teacher, using practical lessons is a

great way to get students to interact and see others for who they are and not the

stereotype attached to their background. Another way of addressing this in my

teaching practice is providing tasks that look into one of the diverse backgrounds

and their contribution to science. Using these methods promote student engagement

and increase inclusion by providing something students can relate to. There is

evidence to suggest engagement increases when studying a topic relate to their

background (Katz, 2013). Overall my teaching practice address’ these issues by

being all inclusive, which aims to increase participation of student and reduce

exclusion, discrimination and barriers to learning (Moss, 2013).

It is important to remember as teachers not every student comes from the same

circumstances and their perspective will be different. As a teacher, it is vital to create

a pedagogy that is based on research and informed decisions, this will ultimately

impact how you approach classroom life. I believe that in order to ensure every

student is provided an equitable and inclusive learning experience it starts with me

and the example I set as a role model.


References

- The United Nations. (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-

rights/index.html

- Samuels, G. L., Jr. (2014). Reflections in the classroom: Perspectives on

teaching for social justice from secondary social studies educators (Order No.

3617380). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I.

(1527063331). Retrieved from https://search-proquest-

com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/docview/1527063331?accountid=36155

- Ferfolja, T., Diaz, C. J., Ullman, J. (2015). The unseen half: theories for

educational practices. In T. Ferfolja, C.J. Diaz & J. Ullman (eds.),

Understanding Sociological Theory For Educational Practices. (pp. 1-20).

Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge.

- Moustakim, M. (2015). ‘Disaffected youth: intersections of class and ethnicity.

In T. Ferfolja, C.J. Diaz & J. Ullman (eds.), Understanding Sociological Theory

For Educational Practices. (pp. 129-144). Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge.

- Ironside, P. M. (2014). Enabling narrative pedagogy: Inviting, waiting, and

letting be. Nursing Education Perspectives, 35(4), 212-8. Retrieved from

https://search-

proquest.com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/docview/1547708719?accountid=36155

- Gore, J. (2007). Improving Pedagogy. In J. Butcher & L. McDonald (Eds.),

Making a difference: Challenges for teachers, teaching, and teacher

education (pp. 15-33). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.


- Freire, P. (1998) Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courag

e. Boulder, CO: Westview Press

- AITSL. (2016). Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Retrieved

from http://www.aitsl.edu.au/australian-professional-standards-

forteachers/standards/list

- Godinho, S. (2013). Planning for practice: connecting pedagogy, assessment

and curriculum. In R. Churchill, P. Ferguson, S. Godhino, N. F. Johnson, A.

Keddie, W. Letts, J. Mackay, M. McGill, J. Moss, M. C. Nagel, P. Nicholson,

M. Vick (eds.), Teaching Making A Difference. (pp. 210-249). Milton, QLD:

John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd.

- Katz, J. (2013). The three block model of universal design for learning (UDL):

Engaging students in inclusive education. Canadian Journal of Education,

36(1), 153-194. Retrieved from

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- Moss, J. (2013). Introducing teaching as a profession. In R. Churchill, P.

Ferguson, S. Godhino, N. F. Johnson, A. Keddie, W. Letts, J. Mackay, M.

McGill, J. Moss, M. C. Nagel, P. Nicholson, M. Vick (eds.), Teaching Making A

Difference. (pp. 2-33). Milton, QLD: John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd.

- Nagel, M. (2013). Student Learning. In R. Churchill, P. Ferguson, S. Godhino,

N. F. Johnson, A. Keddie, W. Letts, J. Mackay, M. McGill, J. Moss, M. C.

Nagel, P. Nicholson, M. Vick (eds.), Teaching Making A Difference. (pp. 74-

111). Milton, QLD: John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd.