Creating an Inclusive, Student-Centered Learning Environment – Literature review Example

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The paper “ Creating an Inclusive, Student-Centered Learning Environment” is a   dramatic variant of a literature review on education. This article analyses the issue of creating an inclusive, student-centered learning environment by illustrating the inclusive teaching practices on a target group to facilitate the group to achieve the learning outcomes. It begins by outlining the target group as a subset of the whole organization with diverse staff composition. The target group is composed of migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB). It then applies traditional teaching and socio-cultural theory as a framework for identifying the learner’ s needs and shaping inclusive learning practices. The author will from the outset explain how the plan is implemented by illustrating how NESB meets the learning outcomes and also explain how these strategies are related to the theoretical framework.

Finally, the author will additionally discuss the approach in which teachers can integrate inclusive, student-centered learning practices in their present and future teaching practices. THE ORGANISATIONThis article talks about training employees of an organization in which I have conducted various types of instructional training for the past seven months.

I begin by briefly stating the nature of the organization and the kind of work its staff carries out in so far as this influences the manner in which the training is conducted. The organization is a medium-sized company engaged in steel fabrication and coating plants. It produces large-scale steel components such as bridge and jetty pylons to be used in projects in the mining and infrastructure industry. It has employed about 130 workers in the workshops, all of whom are male. The employees work as boilermakers, fitters and turners, crane drivers, welders, and spray painters. The organization’ s labor force is pretty diverse; a sizeable portion of approximately 30% of the workforce has non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB).

These are people from Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe who speak a diverse range of first languages from Croatian to Korean to Zulu (Archer, 2007). Although all NESB speak English, there is a great degree of variability in levels of English proficiency. This implies that while some staff struggle to express and/or understand others, others can function at a very high level of English proficiency.

Additionally, the labor force works in the teamwork of small groups. Each team performs a particular task, such as welding, before passing it on to another team that performs a further task in the process, for instance, dressing the steel (David, 2010). It is common to find a team organizing itself along with linguistic or cultural backgrounds while other teams comprise of a mixture of backgrounds (Hanne and Sursock, 2011). THE TARGET GROUPThis essay has its center of interest in NESB migrants which comprise 20 percent of the Australian population as noted by Mathews (2009).

Kember (2009) indicates that this group has lower employment results and smaller success rates in VET than the general population. Garrison and Vaughan (2008) state that learning outcomes are influenced by several social and cultural issues. In their views, these may include poorer participation rates in VET; learning difficulties arising from institutional factors such as quality of teaching and lack of learning support; and cultural disparities that pose learning barriers (Mathews, 2009). They add that ability to read, write, and speak English fluently is the central factor to all others.    

REFERENCES

Archer, L. (2007). Diversity, equality, and higher education: a critical reflection on the abuses of equity discourse within widening participation. Teaching in Higher Education, 12(5-6), pp.635-653.

Bamber, J. (2005). Curriculum design: paying special attention to the ontological shift. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 7(2), pp.1-11.

David, M. (2010). Improving learning by widening participation. London: Routledge.

Douglas, K. & Jaquith, D. (2009). Engaging learners through art-making: Choice-based art education in the classroom. New York, Teachers College Press.

Estes, C. (2004). Promoting Student-Centred Learning in Experiential Education. Journal of Experiential Education, 27(2), pp. 141-161.

Garrison, D & Vaughan, N. (2008). Blended Learning in Higher Education: Framework, Principles, and Guidelines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hanne, S & Sursock, A. (2011). Engaging in Lifelong Learning: Shaping Inclusive and Responsive University Strategies. EUA Publications

Holton, D & Clarke, D. (2006). Scaffolding and metacognition. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 37(2), 127–143.

Kember, D. (2009). Promoting student-centered forms of learning across an entire university. Higher Education, 58 (1), pp. 1-13.

Lynch, L., Leo, S. & Downing, K. (2006). Context-dependent learning: its value and impact of workplace education. Education & Training, 48(1). 15–24

Mathews, N. (2009). Teaching the ‘invisible’ disabled student in the classroom: disclosure, inclusion, and the social model of disability. Teaching in Higher Education, 14(3), pp.229-239.

Pedersen, S. & Liu, M. (2003). Teachers’ Beliefs About Issues in the implementation of a

Student-Centred Learning Environment. Educational Technology, Research, and Development, 51(2), pp. 57-74.

Warren, D. (2002). Curriculum design in the context of widening participation in higher education. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 1, pp.85-99.

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