Differentiated Instruction in a Diverse Learning Environment

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EDP415 - Engaging Diverse Learners ‘Differentiated Instruction in a Diverse Learning Environment.’ Student: Mark Grosert Differentiated Instruction in a Diverse Learning Environment: Through globalisation, and the growing interconnectedness of nations and cultures, Australians population, like that of other western developed nations has become ever more diverse (Larke, Elbert, Webb-Johnson, Larke & Briscoe, 2006, p.161). For example, in 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that almost one-third (27%) of people living in Australia were first generation Australians having been born overseas before residing here (ABS, 2012). Australian schools do not operate in a vacuum; they are influenced and affected by the same socio-structural forces that affect Australia as a whole. So as Australia’s population becomes more diverse so to do our schools. While student diversity is very much accepted and welcomed, it does nonetheless present several problems for teachers and educators (Jones & Herbert, 2012, p.252). In the United States of America (US) the growth in diversity of school students in California in the early 1980’s was paralleled by a similar increase in student disengagement. In approaching this concerning trend, a group of Californian academics set about understanding why US teachers were failing to engage their increasingly diverse students (Bower, 1994, p.315). What the researchers found was that with the increased diversity of students came an increased diversity in the ways in which students learn. They also found that co-operative learning (interaction with peers) increased student engagement and that all students, regardless of their differences, have the ability to learn. Essentially the research indicated that the traditional teacher-centred ‘one size fits all model’ was not equipped to appeal and respond to the increasing

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