Vygotsky believed that cultural knowledge and integration was vital for cognitive development in students, compared to Piaget’s theory of a child’s cognitive development being based around maturation and experience rather than culturally related (O’Donnell, 2016). Cultural diversity is what defines Australia as one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Naturally, the secondary education curriculum has evolved over the years to educate students in learning about a wide range of cultures. By incorporating culture into the curriculum, it can teach the students lessons about compassion, responsibilities and evolutionary enlightenment of other cultures such as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander practices and beliefs.
Due to the multiculturalism of Australian schools, it is key to make sure you consider the learning styles of a different culture so that each student has an opportunity to learn equally (Jens Kroft, 2018) . When teaching a class, it best to assume that there is a diverse collection of students. This can be based on their religions, beliefs, and backgrounds and is essential to consider the practices and beliefs of families when teaching the content in the syllabus. The knowledge that has been taught to Anglo-Saxon Australians can be taught from another perspective in indigenous Australian culture. For example, the discovery of Australia by the British explore is common knowledge when it comes to Anglo-Saxon culture. However, when it derives from the aspect of indigenous culture, the arrival of British explores is told in a dissimilar perspective and contains additional events and stories (“The Pacific and Australasia”, 2018). Another example of accounting for the influence of culture with the learning content is with indigenous Australian culture as it is considered rude to look at their teachers, or other students and faculty, in the eye (Jens Kroft, 2018).
Socioeconomic differences should be considered when creating homework or assignments for your students. This includes any language barriers at home, economic difficulties and cultural differences (O’Donnell, 2016). For example, some religions don’t permit the use or ownership of computers, televisions and or internet in their homes(“Things Jehovah’s Witnesses Can’t Do.”, 2018) (“BBC – Religions – Christianity: Seventh-day Adventists”, 2018). Therefore, when giving students homework or assignments their resources at home should be considered as well as ensuring you give students time in computer labs and libraries to give each student the chance to complete specific tasks.
An example of the difficulties that can be awoken with other cultures intetgrating with western high schools can offten be traumatic and sometimes stressful. In some cases Englslish is a second lanuage therefore, a speration is already set in stone as the students can have trouble communicating clearly with one another. According the a report written by Sashi Sharma from the University of Waikatom, “Scholars have even promoted a cultural difference model in which the language and practices of all students need to be considered in the classroom. Since its earliest conceptualisations, culture has evolved in theory and in practice”. (The University of Waikatom, 2018, pp, 2) MORE ABOUT QUOTE SUM IT UP AND CONCLUDE
The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is defined as ‘a level of competence on a task in which students cannot yet master the task on their own but can perform the same task with appropriate guidance and support from a more capable partner’ (O’Donnell, 2016). Vygotsky developed the ZPD and provided educators with four stages to ensure that the ZPD can be used up to its full potential. These stages were; stage one: assistance provided by more knowledgeable others or capable peers, stage two: assistance provided by self, stage three: automatization through practice and finally stage four: de-automatization; reclusiveness through the previous three stages (“Vygotsky”, 2018).
Scaffolding is “the guidance, support, and tutelage provided by the teacher during social interaction designed to advance the students’ current level of skill and understanding” (O’Donnell, 2016). Gordon Wells referred to scaffolding as “a way of operationalising Vygotsky’s (1987) concept of working in the zone of proximal development” (1999, pg127). He identified three essential characteristic that give educational scaffolding its particular definition: 1) the essentially dialogical existence of the ‘discourse’ in which knowledge is co-constructed; 2) the significance of the kind of activity in which knowing is embedded and 3) the role of artefacts that mediate knowing (Wells 1999, pg127).
When a teacher uses the scaffolding technique to make a quick observation on what the student needs to help them achieve their full potential. An accurate example of scaffolding in motion is when it comes to toddlers that are just beginning to walk, parents hold their hands to assist them, however, when the child becomes confident parents remove their physical support. As teachers, it is our responsibility to observe if the task is too easy or too difficult for each student to complete. This can be noticed by students asking too many or no questions at all, and the student may be struggling to connect the correct answer to the question. An example of scaffolding in a teaching environment would be a teacher explaining and providing steps on how to calculate a mathematical question (“Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding in the Classroom – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com”, 2018).
By asking the students questions as she/he walks through each step, which involves each student in the process to answer the question. The teacher is then able to reassure their student and build up their confidence, which in the end will allow the student to learn from this experience and the teacher has guided the student using the scaffolding method. (“Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding in the Classroom – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com”, 2018)
ZPD incourprates a range of different tasks, and each student can have problems in different areas, however teachers must clearly reconginized the areas in which each student still requores help and guidence, as they are yet to perform the task independently (“Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding in the Classroom – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com”, 2018).