1.

1

FOCUS AREA, (with
descriptor)
Physical, social and
intellectual
development and
characteristics of
students
(Demonstrate
knowledge and
understanding of
physical, social and
intellectual
development and
characteristics of
students and how
these may affect
learning.)

Understand how
students learn
(Demonstrate
knowledge and
understanding of
research into how
students learn and
the implications for
teaching.)

1.2

ELABORATION

It is important as teachers to recognise the stages of
development teenagers are going through during their
high-school years, and the ways that this affects their
social, intellectual and emotional learning. Most teenagers
are by nature social creatures, and interaction with their
peers will be a substantial part of their schooling
experience. As teachers it is important that we
acknowledge this and seek to tap it in productive, safe, and
experimental ways.
I really like the uses of Edmodo in a teaching context,
particularly for word-based curriculum in History and
English. I think the controlled environment of discourse
outside the classroom lends itself to productivity, as well as
limiting opportunities for cyber bullying and exclusive
conversations. As a teacher I can monitor and direct the
learning, and the absence of face-to-face pressure may
allow some of the shy students to engage further in the
text. It is also a useful homebase for posting relevant links
and directing students' attention to extension material.
Students in today's modern world definitely learn a lot
differently to the way they did in the past. Attention spans
and concentration levels have been substantially affected
by technology and digital saturation, and teachers must
take this into account when designing their curriculum.
Students also learn through greater use of ICTs, and
harnessing the web for learning purposes is an important
step towards making the classroom digitally relevant,
interesting and engaging.
However, teachers should also acknowledge that even with
the changing environment and the incontrovertible effect it
has had on student learning styles, there are still many
things that remain the same. Adopting elements of
kinasthetic, auditory and visual learning styles will always
improve a classroom, no matter whether the students are
ICT literate or not.
I think the role of the Ipad in modern classrooms will
become more and more important, as the functionality and
adaptability it provides caters for a wide variety of learning
styles. It can provide visual, auditory and even, to some

extent, kinaesthetic learning; it provides access to the
incredible range of information and resources on the web,
and it allows students to tailor their learning to their own
unique style and preferences.
Students with
diverse linguistic,
cultural, religious
and socioeconomic
backgrounds
(Demonstrate
knowledge of teaching
strategies that are
responsive to the
learning strengths and
needs of students
from diverse
linguistic, cultural,
religious and
socioeconomic
backgrounds.)

Technology can be an incredibly useful tool in the
classroom but it can also be highly divisive, particularly for
students from families that place little to no emphasis on
academic achievement and/or do not have the resources
available to buy their kids the latest Ipad, for instance. It is
important as teachers that we recognise this and ensure
nobody is being left behind in our aim to make our
classrooms ICT literate and technologically relevant.

Strategies for
teaching Aboriginal
and Torres Strait
Islander students
(Demonstrate broad
knowledge and
understanding of the
impact of culture,
cultural identity and
linguistic background
on the education of
students from
Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander
backgrounds.)

But there are simple things that a teacher can do - most
importantly actually get out into Aboriginal communities
and experience life there. In terms of ICT, there is a wealth
of information on Indigenous culture/language/history, etc.
on the web. I like the idea of 'Creative Spirits' website. In
English, I think incorporating the oral tradition into the
classroom can go a long way to encouraging cultural
conversation and linguistic tolerance. In History, hopefully
there is space availability in the curriculum for
incorporating Aboriginal history.

1.3

1.4

It is also important in our teaching to be culturally
sensitive. This manifests itself in such things as not
showing deceased Indigenous people on film without first
warning/telling our Indigenous students; acknowledging
Australia's history of cultural diversity and its impact; and
in subjects such as English, recognising that some texts
may raise issues that are considered taboo in some
cultures/religions (eg. homosexuality, abortion, premarital
sex, etc). However, I am a firm believer that learning
should always push boundaries, and I would hope not to
have to limit the topics raised in my class for fear of
offending sensitivities - this is within reason, of course. The
same occurs in History, where certain countries/cultures do
not acknowledge historical events (Tiananman Square,
Tibet, the Armenian Genocide in Turkey, etc) - but
historical truth should always be at the forefront of the
classroom in my opinion.

Being culturally sensitive includes recognising that

1.5

1.6

Differentiate
teaching to meet
the specific
learning needs of
students across the
full range of
abilities
(Demonstrate
knowledge and
understanding of
strategies for
differentiating
teaching to meet the
specific learning
needs of students
across the full range
of abilities.)

Strategies to
support full
participation of
students with
disability
(Demonstrate broad
knowledge and
understanding of
legislative
requirements and
teaching strategies
that support
participation and
learning of students
with disability.)

deceased Aborigines should not be shown on digital media
without first warning any Indigenous students in the
classroom. Also acknowledging that some children from
APY lands for example may speak English as their second
language, and may need additional support in meeting
literacy and numeracy standards. But for my mind being
culturally sensitive is also acknowledging that simply
because a student is Aboriginal doesn't mean they need
special attention or learn in a substantially different manner
to their Anglo counterparts.
As a teacher one of the most important skills is the ability
to teach across a broad spectrum of ability, enthusiasm and
learning styles. Some students will be motivated and others
will be less so. Every student will have a different ceiling of
ability, but that doesn't mean a teacher still doesn't have
the responsibility to push them to their utmost potential.
ICT tools can be incredibly useful in monitoring the
progress of the students in your classroom, identifying
which students need additional scaffolding and support and
which could benefit from extension activities. I think
Shmoop could be a great tool for this, as it provides a great
framework upon which high-level students can build, and
lower ability students can work towards. The important
thing as a teacher is to make sure that everyone is meeting
a certain benchmark of their own ability, and ensure that
the difficult or struggling students aren't being left behind,
at the same time as the gifted students are given the
ability and opportunities to succeed.
ICT is an incredibly useful and important tool in
encouraging and supporting participation and learning for
students with disabilities in the classroom. As there is such
a wide variety of learning and physical disabilities which
can manifest and impact upon a student's experience in the
classroom, the most beneficial aspect of ICT is the way you
can tailor your learning experience to most benefit the
individual. Those who require more visual stimulation can
get this through programs such as youtube and Prezi;
those who need extra scaffolding and monitoring can be
guided through Edmodo; those who have physical
difficulties can benefit from the increased text size, simple
instructions and large pictorial explanations found in an
Ipad. In many ways an Ipad can provide that additional

support and guidance that an SSO does (although
technology should never be used as a replacement for
human to human interaction). Kinaesthetic activities for
students with ADHD can help them to manage their
concentration levels and direct their energy into productive
learning.