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Topic Seven: Motivation and Learning

Focus Questions

What does motivate children, adolescents and adults to learn?

Having a strong support system, creating reachable goals, hobbies and interests, the
feeling of accomplishment and achievement.

What motivates you to learn?

There are a lot of things that motivates me to learn, these are, being organised,
receiving positive results, being outside in the sun, setting and having goals, looking
forward to holidays and having family and friends who are proud of my work.

How can we solve the dilemma of supporting student engagement and yet
allowing them to have a role in their own learning?
I think it is important for students to have a role in their own learning as it allows
them to take ownership and feel proud of what they have done. We can solve this
dilemma by letting the students have a healthy balance of student engagement and
with having a role in their own learning. They relate to one another because they are
both allowing the students to be interact with one another and with themselves. It is
about allowing time for self-reflection and individual work and with group and peer
work which will help with the individual work. Having a balance and allowing time
for both can solve this dilemma, or if they are out together in an activity where,
student engagement is taken place and the students get to have individual roles in
their group and own learning.

Groundwater-Smith et al (2015) cite on page 88 a teacher and mother as


Its motivation that is the key, not the emphasis on innate ability or
personality. Its finding a way to engage every child in meaningful activities
and helping them to enjoy learning
Consider how the authors have incorporated the issue of motivation in your reading of the
text to date.
They have incorporated the issue of motivation in the reading to show how important it is
for a child to be positively motivated. It is about an individuals achievement and more
crucial, how they got to that achievement. The authors have incorporated this issue by
discussing social behaviours of students and how every student learns differently, although
they all need motivation to learn and the authors talk about the role of teacher and how
they need to be motivators.
Learning Activities/Tasks
Task 7
Use the extract from Partin (2009) Motivating the Unmotivated decide how you would
increase the motivation of one of the following students:

Allan is a Year 2 student in a split class. He has difficulty with reading, is

easily distracted in class, and is exhibiting anti-social behaviour (bullying
smaller/younger children).
Listed below are a few examples of what I thought would increase the
motivation of Allan:
- Give Allan one on one work with the teacher
- Create a sating plan for the class, e.g., put him next to a good student
- Give him a reading chart to help him with his reading / leave on his desk
- Create an inviting reading corner with books of his interests
- Keep calling on him in class to notify him that he needs to pay attention
- Find out Allans interests and find a book about it
- Buddy him up with younger students so he can guide them, this will give him
confidence/ sense of power so it makes him feel confident with helping the younger
students, it creates a positive relationship with the younger students
- Reward for good behaviour/ reward system to motivate
Lisa, a year 9 student, realises that she is not a very successful learner
because her results are always lower than most other students in the class.
Lisa believes the teacher thinks she is a poor student because the she is
always saying that she does not listen closely enough and does not try hard
enough. Lisa tries to avoid answering questions in class as she does not
want to be seen publicly as a failure.
Listed below are a few examples of what I thought would increase the
motivation of Lisa:
- Engage her with something she is good at so it gives her motivation
- Mix up the group work with higher and lower achievers
- Create a seating plan so she is at the front of the classroom so she can pay more
- Give praise and share her work with the class, creating a positive vibe for her
- Ask her what if there is anything wrong and ask her how can you improve her
listening and results e.g. set goals with her for her
- Tell her that you are worried and ask if they are anything wrong
- Know her strong points to give encouragement
- Be cooperative tell her you want to help her get there
- You could ask the class to keep their scores and results to themselves so it avoids
putting others down or making them feel bad about their score
Topic Eight: Understanding Learner Diversity

Focus Questions
Consider the following quote from the text:
For everyone to participate equally, this does not mean that everyone does
the same thing. Providing equal opportunities for all children will not result in
equal outcomes (p 67).
This means that by giving each student equal opportunities it doesnt allow for
students individual needs and requirements. Every student learns differently
and as a teacher it is important to understand that not everyone has the same
needs but those individual requirements need to be catered for. Although in
some scenarios it is important that everyone is equal but not when it differs
when it comes to learning.

What are the inspirations and challenges this presents for classroom teachers?

This presents many challenges for classroom teachers as, it may be hard to know
how to cater for every students individual needs and it may be difficult to allocate
time and support to students. Both challenges need to be met and worked through
so the students can have the best opportunities that they can. There are many
inspirations that classroom teachers can gain from this, they can now want to treat
every student with equity and display that every student is important and they all
learn differently. These teachers can then go on and find other strategies that will
help those students who are struggling and find resources that will enhance all
different learning styles.

Is it important that State and Federal authorities institute social justice policies?
I think it is important to establish social justice policies into the State and Federal
authorities as social justice is about fair treatment, giving individuals their required
opportunities to help them and it is about having a just community. I believe this
limits situations and scenarios where an individual is treated unfairly, for example
when an individual is given equal opportunity as someone else, this doesnt
necessarily help the individual by giving them someone elses needs, it may be equal
but it isnt a positive thing. Having social justice policies could help with social and
cultural rights and support the rights of human needs and requirements, this will
create a healthier and safer environment.
Learning Activities/Tasks

Task 8
Find and include one example of either an advertisement or a newspaper article that reflects
stereotyping/sexism/genderism/poverty/race/ religious or cultural bias.

Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3718308/How-seriously-think-

This advertisement reflects and displays sexism within children and gender types. To the left
of the advertisement, there is a girl and the title states, the social butterfly and to the right
there is a boy and it states, the little scholar. This promotes gender stereotypes, being that
women are the social ones who only socialise and are only worried about what others think,
and the men being the smart and intelligent ones who need to start their future at a young
Briefly discuss the possible implications of such stereotyping and bias for you as a
prospective teacher.

Stereotyping and being bias to children at a young age can really limit their learning and not
give them the learning opportunities that they need. It can also damage their confidence
and trigger unnecessary problems that a child might feel. As a future teacher when using
stereotypes, it could lead the students to resent you and have no respect for you as a
teacher. There are many consequences for using stereotyping not only for the teacher but
for the students, such as children feeling negative about themselves or others, and teachers
losing parents, teachers and students respect and they could get in trouble from higher
authority. It is important to allow the students to have their own ideas and opinions about
specific issues and it isnt a teachers position or job to interfere with that.
Topic Nine: Building Family, School, Community Relationships
Focus Questions

Why do you think it is important to develop positive relationships between families,

schools and the community?

I think it is important as it helps to students to develop positively and it allows the

parents/ families to be involved and informed. For the students, their learning
outcomes are improved, they create social skills, they may want to stay in school for
longer and they are more likely to enjoy learning and coming to school. Having a
positive relationship with the family means that they are more likely to be involved in
their childrens learning and know what they are doing, this can help with home life
for the students as the parents going home and interacting with the school work
which could help the students. It makes life easier for everyone and you want the
parents to feel comfortable and safe when they drop their children off. To know if
something is going on in a students life so you know when to be sensitive towards
specific things. In a rural school building relationships and gaining trust at the start
with the community is important as it could be a small school.

What are some of the challenges you might face as a teacher trying to develop
relationships with families? What did you observe on your placements?

Some challenges that as a teacher you might have to face when trying to develop
relationships with families is that that the families of some students may never come
into the classroom, this may be for many reasons. The parents/family may not come in
for interviews or to see how the children are going, they might not reply to emails,
they could be too busy to come in, could be grandparents as main guardians or the
family might not be able to understand English. Separated parents could be an issue
when discussing information. These factors could all affect a teacher being able to
develop a relationship with the families as it is hard to do so when you never see or
get a response from them.

On my placement, I didnt see any parents come into the classroom to talk to the
teacher, the students were in upper primary so parents may come in less than lower
primary classes, although I was surprised to see that in a whole school week not one
parent came in to check base or anything with the teacher. The teacher kept in
contact over email and by using technology to communicate and keep the
parents/families informed. There was a chart on the board with the students names
and the teacher throughout the day would put ticks next to the students names, the
parents if they wanted could come in at the end of the day to see how their child have
gone in the day.

Groundwater-Smith et al, (2015) suggest on page 348 that your attitude is the key
to developing positive and effective relationships. What might this mean?
This might mean that if you have a positive, encouraging and inviting attitude then
there is more chance to develop a positive and effective relationship with, parents,
teachers, students and the community. Having a positive attitude displays to others
that you are sincere and allows them to see that you respect them and want to have a
healthy and balanced relationship with them. Having a negative attitude creates
others to think you dont care and you dont respect them, this will create a bad
relationship. It is important to have a great attitude to demonstrate your willingness
and involvement with the students education and your support for the parents.

Learning Activities/Tasks

Task 9

In Groundwater-Smith et al, (2015) pages 342-345 there are a number of dilemmas dealing
with relationships with families. Choose three and respond to them in light of your
understandings about developing positive relationships.

Case study 12.6 Whoops! You make a mistake

This dilemma is about a parent pointing out that you have spelt a word wrong on the display
you put up in the classroom. I would laugh about it and not make it a serious deal, if I was
embarrassed I think it is best to thank the parent for pointing it out and let them know that
you will change it straight away. I would say to the class that everyone makes mistakes and
it is ok to do so. If it was a computer- generated sign, you could express to the parent that
you got it off the computer and next time you should pay more attention. I think the parent
is right to approach in this situation as they didnt yell it out, they said it on the down low.

Case study 12.8 Weekend Dispute

This case study is about 2 girls from the class who are having a sleep over, the friend staying
over steals some things and the mother of the other girl comes and talks to you about it. I
would ask the mother if anything was said and ask for details. Another option could be going
to higher authority and asking for advice. I could possibly tell the mother that I could have a
word with the girls, asking if this is true or not and see how they feel or even a class
discussion about stealing and how it is not acceptable, not naming any names and asking
how they would feel if it happened to them. I could also tell the her if I didnt feel
comfortable, that you dont really have any right to say anything as it was an outside of
school incident and suggest she goes to higher authority, e.g. the admin.

Case study 12.9

This case study is about an excursion to the beach, 1 students mother is not happy and
sends a note in with a student complaining about the daughters burnt nose, another 2
parents sent in positive notes about the excursion. In response to the unhappy mother, I
would reply via email or letter, in a calm manner apologising, letting them know that
everything was done to try and prevent sun burn from happening. Explain that the students
wore their hats and applied sunscreen regularly. To the parents who gave positive feedback,
I would respond via email or in person thanking them for the encouragement. I would let my
mentor teacher know about both letters and discus what we could do to get the unhappy
mother back on board with letting her daughter go on more excursions.

Topic Ten: Curriculum in a Changing World

Focus Questions

Think about your own schooling. What kind of curriculum do you remember? How
is it different from what you observed on your recent school experience?

The type of curriculum that I remember is having subjects that would carry on
throughout the whole of my schooling, for example some of these being, percentages,
fractions, sentence structure or the history of Australia. The only thing that would
change is that the topics would get harder and more complex but each year we
covered on them. This displays that the curriculum was followed through all the way
through schooling. In school I thought, maths and English were the two most
important subjects and I remember covering those two subjects a lot more than any

From what I observed on my recent placement it is a little bit different, there is a lot
more detail that goes into the lessons, it seems to be stricter and it is crucial to follow
the curriculum to cover exactly what the curriculum states. There is more
accountability and paper work which is more regulated for the teachers. Some of the
subject names have changed, when I was at school there was a subject called society
and environment and now it is humanities and social sciences. There seems to be a
variety of subjects that are all given a fair amount of time such as The Arts and English
and maths arent just the main ones that get all the time. On my recent prac school
experience there seemed to be more expectations and pressure on the students.

What did you observe on your professional experience that could be described as
the hidden curriculum?

I observed that the students were expected to be quite most of the time, they put
their hand up to talk and that they must line up in pairs outside of the classroom.
These are both not in the curriculum but they are expected of the students by the
teachers. The hidden curriculum for example is, expecting students and teaching them
to line up, social queues, putting hand up when wanting to talk, listening when others
are speaking, pushing your chair in, giving children calming techniques and
mindfulness. Unwritten and unintended lessons, values and perspectives.

After reading chapter 6 what do you see as important to be included in curriculum

for Australian schools? Consider this considering the rapid technological changes
that are occurring even as you read this Learning Guide.
I think it is important if more sustainability classes were included in the curriculum for
Australian schools, teaching students about recycling and how to look after the
environment, this is because they are the next generation and it is important that they
know these things. I also believe that there should be wellbeing classes and lessons
about wellbeing and strategies that could be useful if a student is in a mentally
unstable. Having more subjects like food, emergency and life lessons in the curriculum
could also be useful as the students will be better prepared for high school or after
school. ICT lessons could be more incorporated as the world is becoming more of a
technological world.

Learning Activities/Tasks
Task 10
Outline what you think is important to include in a 21st Century curriculum document using
a mind mapping strategy. (google - https://imindmap.com/blog/mind-mapping-for-
Reflect on the topics of this unit, your professional experience and your own schooling
experiences when developing such a document?
When reflecting and thinking back, my professional experience was so enjoyable and
rewarding, it was amazing to see other teaching strategies and the classroom management
that they used.

Topic Eleven: The Teacher I Want To Be Teaching in the 21st Century

Focus Questions

How has the nature of teachers work changed over time? What has remained the

I think teachers are more than just a teacher now days, they are a support for the
students, teachers and parents. I believe years ago a teacher was just there to teach
and have limited other roles in the childs life. Over time there has always been some
sort of curriculum or structure for teachers to follow so that hasnt changed, although
the detail of it has. Teachers now are catering for diversity and providing alternative
strategies for the students.
Groundwater-Smith et al (2015) suggest that the purposes of schools will have to
change. Why will they need to change and what are the implications for teaching
and learning?

There may be more students that have different abilities and it is becoming more
important for the teacher to cater for these. There might be more subjects on self-
motivation and mental health, this may take time away from other subjects like the
arts, maths or English. I think change can be a good thing although it might take a
while for teachers and learning to catch up.

Learning Activities/Tasks

In Class assessment for all students.