Diversity and Differentiation

Beamish, Wendi & Saggers, Beth (2013) Diversity and Differentiation. In Pendergast, Donna & Garvis, Susanne (Eds.) Teaching Early Years : Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment. Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW, Australia, pp. 244-258.

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New ways of working are being embraced by early childhood educators as they cope with demands from national reforms and changing communities. While reformers are pressing for social equity and improved outcomes for families and children, communities are diverging in terms of ethnicity, culture, language and socioeconomic status. As a consequence, early childhood educators are being challenged to expand their existing repertoire of practices in order to more effectively provide quality learning experiences for every child in their care.

Practice enhancement and differentiated pedagogy are needed to address the additional needs of an increasing number of diverse learners. Community expectations are particularly focused on better educational supports for children in five cluster areas:

• Culturally diverse and Indigenous backgrounds • ‘at risk’ because of socio-economic and abuse conditions • Communicative, emotional and behavioural disorders • Disabilities and learning difficulties and • Recognised gifts and talents

This chapter focuses on some everyday ractices that can be used strategically to better support all children, including those with additional educational needs. All practices are well supported in the literature and are substantiated by either research findings or strong, socially determined values. They also very ‘doable’ and sustainable in today’s dynamic and multifaceted early childhood settings. Seven keys practices will be introduced, together with examples of how they can be applied to both enhance the learning of individual children and to strengthen a sense of group belonging. The practices are:

• Having positive beliefs about all children • Learning about each child • Building meaningful relationships around the child • Creating supportive learning environments for the child • Providing engaging learning experiences for the child • Differentiating instruction for the child • Using child progress data to improve learning and teaching

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 60508
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: young children, early childhood, diversity differentiation, inclusive practice
ISBN: 9781742379951
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Special Education and Disability (130312)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators (130313)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 31 Jan 2014 02:19
Last Modified: 15 May 2017 14:43

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