Creating Inclusive, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments

Table of Contents

Introduction.

Brief overview of the topic.

Definitions and relevant statistics.

Causes of problems.

Strategies that support students’ wellbeing and safety.

Collaborate with others to provide appropriate support strategies for students.

Adaptation of curriculum and teaching strategies for students considering legislative and policy requirements

Examples of particular legislation that influence practices of supporting students.

Conclusion.

References.

Introduction to Focused Summary Paper Assessment

Adaptation of proper teaching and support strategies is required to be taken for the students after analysing their needs to improve their learning opportunities. For this purpose, different legislations and policies can be taken. This study analyses the strategies to support wellbeing and safety of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Brief Overview of The Topic

Definitions and Relevant Statistics

Engagement in education is the key factor that influences the life chances in Australia and most importantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who have lower levels of educational attainment. It has been noticed that attendance and retention rate of indigenous people are limited. That has been 45% in 2009 but it has been increased to 83.2% in 2019 compared to 93% of non-indigenous people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have contribute 1.6% of the government school population in Australia. However, the retention rate of the students is very low, which has been 58.7% which is decreased from 60.9% in 2018 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020). Tasmania and Queensland have experienced the greatest decline in retention rates whereas the recorded enrolment is ranging from 9.2% in Tasmania and 1.7% in Victoria. There are few high-quality evaluations of these students that reduce their learning opportunities. There is no meaningful improvement in Northern territory and attendance rate has fallen to 66.2% in 2017 than 70.2% in 2014 (Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2020). Indigenous attendance is lower in remote areas that has been 86.8% than 64.6% of attendance in non-remote areas.

Causes of Problems

Individual, home and school factors are involved in a student's absence. It has been identified that educators tend to stress home environments and parental attitudes as well as the educational instructions have provided poor quality teaching and failure to engage students. Lack of assessment of the knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students has restricted the educational institutions of Australia to provide high quality learning (Australian Council for Educational Research, 2020). There is also lack of engagement of the parents and community-based organisations in the education and training strategies of Aboriginals that reduces their attention and retention rate. It increases the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people and reduces literacy and numeracy rates among them.

Strategies that Support Students’ Wellbeing and Safety

Collaborate with Others to Provide Appropriate Support Strategies for Students

The aboriginal students can be provided with special training sessions in the English Language structure so that they get acquainted with the traditional language of education in Australia. The learning support staff of the educational institutions would be advised to provide special care in learning the language for the aboriginal students. The Education Department of the Government of Australia can also be requested to provide adequate funds to the families of the aborigines so that they can afford quality education and bear its expenses (Jens Korff, 2020). The parents of the aboriginal students would be encouraged to provide quality education to their students so that they can set the benchmark for uplift in the academic regime.

The school counsellor would also be advised to take care of a few factors while teaching to the aboriginal students according to their cultural needs. For instance, the aboriginal students avoid direct eye contact with adults as it is a symbol of rudeness in ‘Aboriginal Culture’ (Street et al., 2017). Henceforth, the teachers are advised to be more diverse with the aboriginal students for their wellbeing. The aboriginal students are less likely to answer the questions in the class because traditionally, they do not want to be the centre of attraction. Consequently, the support staff can be advised to be more interactive with the aboriginal students so that their inactivity in the class is reduced vehemently.

Adaptation of Curriculum and Teaching Strategies for Students Considering Legislative and Policy Requirements

According to “Institute for Child Health Research” lower attendance rate affects their academic achievements which is much lower in the government schools (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). The curriculum in the educational institutions can be designed according to levels so that each and every form of student can get associated with the type of education provided. Australian educational regime has autonomy over curriculum and assessment above the OECD average. According to PISA 2012, the syllabi can be designed addressing the social as well as emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (OECD, 2020). It enhances cultural diversity which includes language, kinship, geographic locations (rural, urban or remote) and traditional lifestyles of the local folk.

The lessons which can be taught to the students need to be at par with application in everyday lives. Furthermore, there is also a requirement in the curriculum to include more Aboriginal stories along with their achievements which would automatically lift the morale of the aboriginal students and boost their sense of identification in Australia. It is very important to make sure that the Aboriginal students are not treated as a minority group comprising mere 3% of the total population in Australia (Head to health, 2020).

Examples of Particular Legislation that Influence Practices of Supporting Students 

“The Australian Education Act 2013” has provided regulations relating to the welfare of the Aboriginal people belonging to Torres Island. In this manner, the benchmark for care can be set for the aboriginal students. “Discrimination Act 2004” and “Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986” provides regulations according to which it is mandatory on the part of educational institutions to trade each and every student impartially and not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed or tribal. “Closing the Gap”' strategies are taken by Australian government to improve the education facilities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to increase the attention and retention rate (Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2020). “DATSIP duty of care guidelines need to be followed by the educational institutes to respect cultural heritage of the indigenous people at the time of creating teaching strategies.

Conclusion on Focused Summary Paper Assessment

In conclusion, the attention and retention rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the schools is lower than non-indigenous people due to poor teaching quality and lack of student engagement. Therefore, there is an urgent need on the part of the Government of Australia to take adequate steps which are relevant for providing utmost attention according to PISA 2012. 

References for Focused Summary Paper Assessment

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2020). 4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2019. Retrieved 20 August 2020, from https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4221.0Main%20Features102019?opendocument tabname=Summary Prod No=4221.0issue=2019&num=&view=

Australian Council for Educational Research (2020). School attendance and retention of Indigenous Australian students. Retrieved 20 August 2020, from https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1045&context=indigenous_education

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2017). Child protection Australia: 2015–16 Child Welfare series no.66 CWS 60 Canberra: AIHW

Head to health (2020). Supporting someone else - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Retrieved 20 August 2020, from https://headtohealth.gov.au/supporting-someone-else/supporting/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-peoples

Jens Korff, C. (2020). Ways of teaching & engaging Aboriginal students. Creative Spirits. Retrieved 20 August 2020, from https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/education/teaching-aboriginal-students

OECD. (2020). Education Policy Outlook Snapshot: Australia - OECD. Retrieved 20 August 2020, from http://www.oecd.org/education/highlightsaustralia.htm

Prime Minister and Cabinet (2020). Education | Closing the Gap. Retrieved 20 August 2020, from https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/reports/closing-the-gap-2018/education.html

Street, C., Guenther, J., Smith, J. A., Robertson, K., Motlap, S., Ludwig, W., ... & Ober, R. (2017). The evolution of Indigenous higher education in Northern Territory, Australia: A chronological review of policy. International Studies in Widening Participation, 4(2), 32-51.

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