Peering through the window or stepping across the threshold of a classroom in Australia is like entering a unique and fascinating new world. Each looks different, sounds different, feels different. In part, the difference reflects the specific content that has been studied and/or the pedagogy employed by the teacher within that particular classroom. However, the difference also reflects the uniqueness of the cohort of students within that classroom environment. Due to a range of social and political changes in the Australian education system, and in the nation more broadly across recent years, the students within Australian classrooms might now be considered the most diverse they have ever been. For instance, the numbers of children who speak English as a second or other language has increased with the arrival of more refugee and migrant families to Australia, and the range of languages spoken by these children and their families has also increased with changes in the countries from which they are arriving (e.g., Asian and African countries rather than Europe; McLeod, 2011). A less recent, but no less important change, is the inclusion of students with additional learning needs within mainstream Australian classrooms. Indeed, recent Australian research indicates that approximately one-third of primary/secondary students experience additional learning needs, with the most common being specific learning difficulties, followed by communication disorders and English as a second or other language (McLeod & McKinnon, 2007).
|Title of host publication||Evidence-based learning and teaching|
|Subtitle of host publication||A look into Australian classrooms|
|Editors||Melissa Barnes, Maria Gindidis, Sivanes Phillipson|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon, Oxon|
|Number of pages||12|
|ISBN (Print)||9780815355717, 9780815355700|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Jan 2018|