5. Establishing a safe, supportive and intellectually challenging learning environment


5.2 Design teaching strategies specifically for the different backgrounds, learning preferences and dispositions of their students.

Focus question:
  • How do you accommodate your students’ different backgrounds, learning preferences and dispositions?
Samples of practice

(a) Backdrop:
In this post lesson interview segment, following a coastal field trip undertaken by a year 9 class, the teacher explains how the students become involved, and regard collaborative learning. What are the students learning preferences in terms of working collaboratively? How does the teacher distinguish between students who, when working with others are ‘cheating’, and those who genuinely learn from each other?

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(b) Backdrop:
This sample shows nine images of the teacher’s approach in a year 12 class in a medium sized non-government girls’ school in metropolitan Adelaide. The lesson topic is topographic mapping skills. The teacher concentrates on scale, bearings and the introduction of sketch maps developed from the topographic maps. What are the indicators, from the images, that the teacher’s approach in this lesson is based on the students’ background and learning preference? How does he use a variety of teaching strategies in this lesson?

Sample 7 GEOG 09 [6. Image – photo montage]

(c) Backdrop:
In this post lesson interview segment, on a year 12 lesson on the topic of topographic mapping skills, the teacher explains how and why he considers the different ability levels of the girls. Does the teacher demonstrate considerable understanding of individual student’s knowledge of these geography skills? How and why does he use the opportunity to revisit skills that are basic to the understanding of topographic maps?

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Further links and resources
Description of the meaning of ‘perspective’:
“According to Butler…it is not just physical position that determines what a person sees, it is also the person’s ‘mindset’ or ‘world view’ – the framework of thinking that gives order and meaning to one’s surroundings. Consequently, different people will perceive, describe, explain and evaluate issues and phenomena differently…A perspective in this sense is not just a personal ‘point of view’ but a viewpoint that a person adopts because of his or her social position or membership of a defined group with respect to a particular issue. In other words, it is the culture and experiences of a person or group, and their resulting position, which assigns to them a particular perspective…”
Kleeman, G., (2009) Through The Eyes of Others: The Role of Curriculum Perspectives in Australian School Geography. Geographical Education 22: 24
 
1. Knowing geography and geography curriculum
Accomplished geography teachers: 
2. Fostering geographical inquiry and fieldwork
Accomplished geography teachers:
3. Developing geographical thinking and communication
Accomplished geography teachers:
4. Understanding students and their communities
Accomplished geography teachers:
5. Establishing a safe, supportive and intellectually challenging learning environment

Accomplished geography teachers:


6. Understanding geography teaching – pedagogical practices
Accomplished geography teachers:
7. Planning, assessing and reporting

Accomplished geography teachers:


8. Progressing professional growth and development

Accomplished geography teachers:

9. Learning and working collegially

Accomplished geography teachers: