1. A learning focused culture in an educational environment is build by various characteristics. One of the characteristics that is a very important factor in the learning environment includes: Inclusion
2. It is important that each and every faculty involving both the teachers and the students are included and valued equally irrespective of their diversity in income level, race, culture, geographical orientation, and /or disability. Only when nobody is excluded, a holistic and healthy environment can be ensured in a classroom space. Inclusion ensures no discrimination in the learning environment(Open Society Foundations, 2019). Since a learning institution is a place where a person grows and develops, an inclusive attitude will help the students represent their personality, build confidence in themselves, and indulge in social relationships. When education facilitators will remove the barriers in the classroom and treat everone with love and respect, then only the disables will be able to whole hertedly participate(Ministry of Education, 2014). Only when inclusiveness is practiced in the institute the students will be able to practice it in their personal life as individuals and maintain healthy relations in outer environment.
3. One can foster inclusiveness in the teaching environment by knowing and recognizing each and every individual with different identities and building a team environment where the students can communicate and interact with each other. Letting the students share their stories and cultural background in group activities will help to spread awareness among other classmates as well about the diversity present in the classroom (Finkelstein et al., 2019). Ensuring that every student is heard, and their concerns are addressed is a very important aspect to ensure inclusion. Inclusion can also be ensured by developing a diverse curriculum in the learning course.
This curriculum can include addressing diverse culture and languages of the students and and bringing them into the classroom, learn about their practices and cultural background and give importance to the first language rather than imposing the universal language. Also special efforts can be made to support the students to excel and develop leadership skills and consider their valuable feedback (Zealand, 2014).
4. To support the practices to develop an inclusive environment in the classroom various stragies and rules have been formed by the government of New Zealand. They can also be taken into consideration for inclusiveness. Some of the practices can include ensuring and facilitating:
- Various extracurricular activities outside the classroom can be included in the education strategy like drama classes, sports, and cultural events where all the socially diverse students and disabled are included. This will build greater understanding (Westwood, 2018).
- Creating a student forum where students feel free to share their concerns.
- Also building culture clubs where students encourage their identity and share similar interests and develop greater relationships (Alesech & Nayar, 2020).
- The principle of Culutrally Responsive Teaching has been chosen for the below answering.
- Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) is an approach that concentrates and revolves around identifying, understanding, and addressing different cultures in a teaching space. This approach aims to connect students belonging to different cultures, languages, having different life experiences within the classroom. By applying CRT, institutions can promote greater engagement of students from different backgrounds and motivate them to make meaningful connections and convey their attitudes and knowledge without feeling inferior (Gay, 2018). Responisive teachers will use distinct teaching methods, modifying their knowledge and training for different students to pay attention to their individual needs and experiences and create a postitive influence on them to share their feelings and emotions. Rather than considering the diverse culture and background as a barrior the teachers practicing CRT considers them as wealth to enrich their classroom and focuses on creating a cherrishing and motivated learining environment (Tuncel, 2017).
- a) The approach of CRT has have been beneficial in the teaching space and has shown an increased performance of the students with diverse backgrounds over time. The cultural support for M?ori in New Zealand is a profound example of the appreciation and vast usage of CRT in the country. The schools value and teach the the songs, letters, stories, and many more learnings in te reo M?ori along with English.
- b) The important the approach of cultural inclusion is, it follows certain challenges or barriers in applying it to the classroom environment. These challenges are as follows:
- Teacher’s indifferent/ arrogant attitude: a teacher that is indifferent towards the learning needs of culturally diverse students will make no efforts to encorporate different students’ values and morals in to the classroom and will follow a static curriculum that will not help the diverse students to open up in the classroom environment and will feel distinct. They will choose not to practice cross-culutral practices as they donot feel responsible for the same and value their culutural practice as superior or might be prejudistic (Henderson, 2013)..
- Ignorance to multi-culutral perspective: if reference is made to the educational system in New Zealand, the euro-centric structure is in dominance. This acts as a hiderance for students and teachers to get motivated to engage themselves in croos-culutral activites and experiences and stay unaware of the values, practices and different approaches (Henderson, 2013).
- Miscommunication due to spoken language or body language challanges: Some students belonging to different communites or culutures might take offense in some form of expressions which might be normal to others. This creates a barrier between the teacher and the student. For example, among the Maori or Pacafic Islander community maintaining a direct eye contact is considered disrespectful. Also touching the head or patting it can be considered disrespectful since it holds a sacred meaning in the Maori culture (Incluude, 2016).
- c) One specific action that can be taken into consideration to apply Culurally Responsive Teaching in a learining environment can be implementing instructional scaffolding at the learining place.
Instructional Scaffolding is the practice in which support is provided to the students by the teachers by systematically building on the knowledge and experiences of the students as they learn new skills. The support is temporarily based and is to be removed once the student is comforatable and inherits in the given environment. Diverse students might find it initially difficult to adjust and incorporate in a given environment. Hence using this approach the teachers should observe this change and ensure that learining is clearly encorporated and practices well demonstrated(IRIS, 2019).
Fostering Inclusiveness in Teaching Environment
The environment ensures to provide supportive learining where students are free to ask the questions and give feedback and active support to the classmates. The students share scaffolding responsibility and interact in the environment(Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, 2022). To implement it in culturally responsive dimention, the teachers need to build greater understanding of cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students. It involves asking various open-ended, analytical questions, implement warm up activities in the classroom, encourage self directed learning and use supporting materials like explaining the meaning of the English term by referencing to the primary language for meaning(Aceves & Orosco, 2014).
1. Since Benjamin is facing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD), his less attention span creates and will continue to create problems in the normal course of functioning in the classroom. For example, as mentioned in the case study, he destroyed some of the students' artworks. Simon will face various challenges due to similar cases in building a Flexible Learning Environment(FLE) in the classroom.
ADHD is a behavoiral disorder common in childhood. One in every 20 citizens of New Zealand have ADHD (ADHD NZ, 2022). In this condition, the brain in the front lobe is less developed and immature as compared to the normal structure. Hence people with ADHD require much more effort to regulate the aspects that others can control naturally. They make an equal effort but are not able to concentrate like their peers and get tired and distracted soon. A child suffering from ADHD might either be predominantly inattentive and/or hyperactive (ADHD NZ, 2022b).
Students like Benjamin that suffer from ADHD might face the following challenges in the classroom:
- They might find it difficult to listen and follow up on the teacher’s instructions and can get easily distracted.
- They have a lower tolerance level and might often become restless and roam around in the class or indulge themselves in some or the other form of mischief (Nemours Foundation, 2020).
- They might find it very difficult to cope with the lessons being taught in the classroom as a result of which might lag in studies and academic performance.
All these and many other challenges faced by them might create various other implications in the learning environment of the classroom such as:
- Ensuring that a student with ADHD understands the topic and meets the other academic needs might create the learning process slow for others as well and might hamper classroom productivity.
- If the teacher continuously pampers or deals lightly with the specially-abled child, the other students might feel it unfair and this notion might make them feel less valued (Topkin et al., 2015).
- Effective classroom management strategies can be adopted by Simone to respond to the challenges faced due to the diverse environment in the classroom and ensure the fosterment of cultural learning. One of the strategies can include:
Formulate good relationships: The resource stated by Moore, Russell and Arnell can be used by the educator to develop a strategy to build an ADHD inclusive classroom environment. As stated in the resource, the teacher can use the approach of building good relationship with students suffering from ADHD. Building a good relationship is the key to build trust. When they feel connected, the students are able to feel normal(Moore et al., 2017). Hence it becomes important for the teachers to not confine their job role merely as educators but act as guide, supporter and advisor. Soldings or fear will be ineffective to control an hyperactive child. To build a good relationship, they need to build empathy rather than sympathy towards them. Good relations can be formed by stepping down from the authoritarian role. Asking and building effective communication like asking them questions about how they feel, did they have a good day, or did they take their medications can help them create a bonding. This helps to establish a personal connect with the students. It is also an important role of the teachers to know how the students especially with mental, physical or social issues are feeling to keep a check on them as they are very fragile to take impulsive decisions. Their self doubt or inferiority complex or their isolation form the society can create a greate impact on their mental health and they can be vulnerable to take bad decisions. Hence by developing good relations with the students they can assure that the students are not disturbed and it can make them feel safe and sound. Teachers must be rational with the amount of stress they should put on them for studies and the degree of relaxation they must impose on such students. (Lasko, 2020). Taking efforts to establish good peer relations is also an important aspect of the same. If only the teacher connects with the specially abled child and gives personal attention the other students in the classroom might feel her acts as biased. To ensure the rest of the students do not feel differentiated, they must know the teacher’s notion behind her actions. Also strategy to develop good relation with peer can be implemented by designing group activities and collaborative leraining environment like clubs that will build group unity and support. Letting students help each other by defining problems and solving among themselves will improve their understanding (Dilaimi, 2013).
Practices to Develop Inclusive Environment in the Classroom
Three reliable sources of information that Simone can use to develop his understanding with relation to the challenges of ADHD student inclusion in the classroom and framing an effective flexible learning environment are:
The Ministry of Education of New Zealand has stated certain guidelines for assessing and managing students with ADHD in early childhood settings. As stated in the document, there must be skilled teachers such as Learning and Behavior Resource Teachers (RTLBs) to record and report the changed behaviour of childrens in school settings by interviewing face-to-face, telephone consultations or checklist. The educational curriculum focuses on the need for teachers to promote supportive learining environment, encourage reflective perspectives, build a shared leaning environment, and give ample of opportunities to learn. It also states various compentiences for the teachers to develop guidance about the issue including thinking, using text and symbols and relating to others etc. The document also proposes various classroom strategies that can be used by the teachers like providing a clear structure, simulating the classroom, using visual tools to help better concentration etc. Hence this resource can be used by the teachers to develop their understanding about the issue and challenges of ADHD classroom inclusiveness and taking measures to implement the same (Ministry of Education NZ, 2015).
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) operating under the US Department of Health and Service identifies the the issue of dealing with students suffering from ADHD and developing a healthy classroom environment. They explain the diificulties faced by such students and need of schools to offer special education services to help the students succeed. By implementing certain changes in the school environment like assuring physical activities and building attentive environment to ensure their focus is not diverted and building positive responses and behavioural classroom management techinques. The teacher can refer to the resource to understand and implement better classroom strategies (CDC, 2020).
The teacher can refer to the source provided by the Californian Department of Education, to develop a Flexible Learining Environment(FLE). As mentioned in the document the schools can provide outside space for collaborative learining, like open areas, project rooms with high ceilings, multi-culutral rooms and ensure outside event learinings like visiting to libraries and museums. It focuses on building collaborative learining space by building flexible furniture to support active learining, that can also provide effective space for movement that is especially important to consider for sutents with ADHD. Flexible innovative school designs and building shared learining spaces will help students to collaborate better and learn the art of team work. Active learning rather than passive education facilitation is an important point to be considered. Hence this resource can act as a useful guide for the teachers (California Department of Education, 2016).
Challenges Faced by Students with ADHD in the Classroom
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