Reflective Essay

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In today’s classroom, teachers need to be mindful of the fact that irrespective of the subject being taught, factors influencing classroom composition also affect the ways in which students process and interpret information. Various teaching strategies should be employed then, to cater for this diversity. It is in this regard that the Australian Curriculum is limited in its structure. Applying a blanket approach to national education essentially disregards the fact that a myriad of influences, including but not limited to, ethnicity, geographical location and cognitive style impact on a student’s approach to learning. This disparity is particularly evident in relation to assessment and evaluation. Whilst the curriculum allows teachers a degree of flexibility in regard to subject material and teaching methodologies, ultimately ways of assessment, especially summative assessment, and evaluation are standardised. Teachers may modify daily classroom activities in order to accommodate particular student requirements, however, final success or failure is mass considered. This strict regulation can severely impede certain sectors of the community. For example, those in remote areas as well as Indigenous and non- Anglo Saxon students may find the language and concepts used in formal assessment foreign, and therefore perform poorly in the traditional sense. In these situations, inequity may compel teachers to “teach to the test” to avoid inferior results, a practice not conducive to comprehensive learning. The Australian Curriculum’s uniform approach also neglects the fact that differing cognitive dispositions may similarly affect a student’s performance in assessment. Howard Gardner’s concept of multiple intelligences (Larrivee, 2009) exemplifies the need for varied methods of assessment and evaluation inasmuch as particular formats favour particular intelligences. In

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