A Teacher Should Have Knowledge And Understanding Of The Diversity Of Students ' Backgrounds

A Teacher Should Have Knowledge And Understanding Of The Diversity Of Students ' Backgrounds

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Graduate teachers should have knowledge and understanding of the diversity of students’ backgrounds and how this impacts on student learning (AITSL, 2014). They should also be responsive to the learning needs of students across the full spectrum of students’ backgrounds and abilities/disabilities (AITSL, 2014). Similarly, Lead teachers require this same knowledge and understanding, however they need to specialise in the local educational context, through expert and community knowledge (AITSL, 2014). At a Lead level, teachers are expected to develop, evaluate and revise school programs and policies to improve student learning (AITSL, 2014). For example, when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) People to develop learning programs, adherence to specific protocols is critical (AGQTP, n.d.). A Lead teacher would participate in collaborative relationships with ATSI community representative and parents/carers (AITSL, 2014).
Students learn more when they are encouraged, supported and challenged in their learning (Burris & Welner, 2005; Richards, Brown, & Forde, 2007). Therefore it is important that teachers demonstrate high expectations for all students, regardless of their background (Burris & Welner, 2005; Saravia-Shore, 2008). Student diversity can offer a lot to the learning environment and teachers should embrace and tap into it to enhance student learning (Saravia-Shore, 2008). Through the adoption of a global perspective in the classroom, teachers can implement various teaching strategies that are responsive to students from diverse backgrounds, while allowing a high level of enrichment and learning for all students (Saravia-Shore, 2008). Research shows that making learning relevant, related to real-wo...

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...and learning theories is essential, this is not enough. Teachers need to apply this knowledge and develop effective student-teacher relationships; making a real effort to get to know their students as individual learners, with specific interests, needs, backgrounds, readiness to learn and learning styles. This is what is expected of teachers at all levels. In addition, Lead teachers should: extend their expertise to guide, direct and support colleagues and; develop school strategies, programs and policies to improve teaching and learning.
While research indicates that teacher quality plays a significant role in student achievement, this essay demonstrates how students themselves and other factors external to the school are also strong determinants of learning outcomes and warrant careful consideration in improving overall teaching quality in Australian schools.

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