Teachers have a professional obligation to respond to a range of educational needs on a daily basis. Students present with a diversity of personal characteristics and experiences attributable to physical, personal health or wellbeing, intellectual, psychological, religious, cultural, socio-economic or life experiences that may impact on their access to and participation in learning. A thorough background knowledge and understanding of the conditions that impact on learning is fundamental to managing the diversity within classrooms.
The information resource package; ‘Embracing Diversity: Responding to learning difference’ is intended to empower educators with the knowledge and understanding required to cater for the diverse learning needs of all students. It aims to promote inclusive practices. The concept of electronic access to the resource through the school intranet recognises the centrality of the classroom teacher and the emphasis of a whole school approach to the provision of inclusive educational practices.
Reference to definitions and features of conditions is not intended to label or classify students but rather provide relevant background information to support teachers address the unique characteristics and specific individual needs of students in their classes.
The suggested adjustments to classroom management and teaching strategies may represent effective practice for all students; however they are essential for those students experiencing learning differences. Without specialised instruction and implementation of specific strategies, students with disabilities and learning differences will not effectively move forward and attain their full learning potential. The notion of teachers and classroom aides empowering students to become increasingly independent through the acquisition of a repertoire of strategies and metacognitive processes specific to their own learning profile is another aim of the resource package.
The occurrence of overlap of information and strategies across areas is addressed through the inclusion of links within the document as well as to additional reading and resources. Referencing to sources of information is provided at the end of each area.
The concept of an electronic knowledge base such as this represents an evolving, ongoing project. Schools can tailor the resource to suit their specific context. Conditions and learning differences specific to individual students in the school cohort can be added through using the template provided.
Invitations for feedback, suggestions and contributions for inclusion will be valued and most welcome. If you are interested in receiving emails of future updates to this resource, please submit your details to the following contact: