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Teaching and cultural diversity

Trees, K. (2012) Teaching and cultural diversity. In: Teaching and Learning Forum 2012: Creating an inclusive learning environment: Engagement, equity, and retention, 2 - 3 February 2012, Murdoch University, Murdoch, W.A


Teachers and students are challenged by cultural diversity in the classroom. International and local students come to class with different expectations of unit content, levels of participation, reading and writing skills, language abilities and more. This paper discusses strategies employed in teaching a combination of international and local Australian students. It reports on changes to teaching strategies, from one year to the next, as a response to reflecting on interactions between a previous group of students. The strategies are designed to: achieve successful learning interactions between students; have international students fully participating in class discussions; have all students draw on and share information from their national/ cultural knowledge to inform the unit content; have all students appreciate that the Australian context and local students' knowledge is an example to draw on, in the same way that international students' background is, it is not the norm. In doing this, the paper discusses the difficulties that local students may have adapting to large numbers of International students in the class because of the necessary changes to the way classes operate. The paper explores the successes and failings of these strategies with a view to opening up discussions between teachers and developing further approaches that are inclusive of all students.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Media, Communication and Culture
Conference Website:
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