The role of every teacher is to provide instruction, assessment strategies and processes, which will result in improved learning outcomes for all students (The Commonwealth Government, 2002). Within the education system each child is different and through new initiatives developed from research in the field of education and as outlined in curriculum such as Syllabus documents, 2010, Adelaide Declaration and the ETRF, it is stressed that teachers are expected to plan and teach in ways that are inclusive of all students. Also evident in such documents is the importance of enabling each child to participate fully in quality education, which is a right for all (QSE-2010). One strategy Education Queensland has suggested to ensure this goal is achieved is through Productive Pedagogies, which form part of the Education Queensland’s New Basics project.
Productive Pedagogies focus on the learning process and as expressed by Keddie (2003, p.2) ‘provides teachers with a simplified, useful framework for improving intellectual and social outcomes’. The specific dimensions of the pedagogies included within this framework include: Intellectual Quality, Connectedness, Supportive Classroom Environments and Recognition of Difference. “Effective pedagogical practice promotes the wellbeing of students, teachers and the school community – it improves students’ and teachers’ confidence and contributes to their sense of purpose for being at school; it builds community confidence in the quality of learning and teaching in the school (A Framework for the Future, 2001, p.10). The pedagogy that will be of focus for this assignment is Recognition of Difference. Discussion of this pedagogy will be in relation to current curriculum developments and how this relates to the unit entitled ‘Water Wise’, developed earlier in this course.
With productive pedagogies becoming an important part of teaching over the last few years, teachers whom are willing to implement the productive pedagogies into their delivery of curriculum are aided in the goal of helping students to learn. The Queensland School Reform Longitudinal Study (2003) investigated the implications on teaching and learning outcomes within Queensland schools with the main view being upon establishing an education system that ensures that “our young people are equipped to lead the way into the future” (QSRLS, 2003, p.6). The document centred upon ensuring that all students were engaged in the learning process so that they would be better equipped to be successful participants in the knowledge society thus lending the pedagogy, recognition of difference, to be one of extreme importance, as it aims to engage all children regardless of disability, race gender etc, in education, an area middle schooling research shows is most important throughout the middle years of schooling. “The Government will strengthen the middle years of schooling by focusing on students’ learning needs. We want to inspire them to keep learning”(The Commonwealth Government, 2002, p.7).
The teacher of today has to meet a much greater range of needs than the teacher of thirty years ago. It was not so long ago that Aboriginal and Torres Island students were separated in schools on the basis of race, or that students with severe learning difficulties went to special schools or worked in separate classrooms (Barry & King, 2002). Today the approach is based on including all students in the learning programme. According to the QSE-2010 document, “education today is about creating a school curriculum which meets the needs of a more diverse student cohort” (QSE-2010, p.8).
The Productive Pedagogy, Recognition of Difference helps to create such a curriculum. The document, A framework for the Future (2001, pg. 10) states, “when pedagogical practice recognises difference, it brings into play diverse cultural knowledge’s, makes deliberate attempts to increase the participation of all students of different backgrounds, builds a sense of community and identity, and attempts to foster active citizenship in all students”. Thus, the pedagogy, Recognition of Difference, endeavours to create an inclusive classroom where all students are able to reach their full potential in an environment that promotes tolerance.
Further, the Productive Pedagogy, “Recognition of Difference’ highlights the importance of allowing time for student anecdotes and appreciating the human dimension in our disciplines. “We
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