Socio Cultural Issues In Education

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How are the Socio-Cultural Issues of Social Disadvantage and Cultural Diversity Understood and Represented in the Australian Education System?

Issues of social disadvantage, particularly those associated with socio-economic and cultural diversity, are still not adequately understood or represented in the Australian education system. A short investigation into this issue indicates that not only are students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and certain cultural backgrounds experiencing education inequity and struggling to achieve success, but that in addition the current education system may even be perpetuating this situation, and contributing to the alienation of these students (Ewing, 2013. p.73).

As Rizvi & Crowley (1993) tell us, …show more content…

Gale indicates that a student 's social context can determine 70% of their level of success in education. Only the remaining 30% is determined by other factors such as the quality of teaching that they receive. He states that for some students, coming to school is like “entering a different world”. Therefore, teachers need to make a particular effort to help students from lower socio-economic backgrounds access the contents of their virtual schoolbag, and make use of their cultural capital.

One way that a teacher can ensure that the cultural capital of all students is recognised, understood, and valued is by fostering a strong home-school connection with the families of all students (Ewing, 2013. p.98). By forming authentic relationships with students and their families, a teacher can ensure that they are "actively engaged in knowledge and ideas that they see as related to their own …show more content…

While issues associated with socio-economic diversity are extremely important in the classroom, this is only one of several elements of diversity which must be considered in order to minimize inequity in students ' experience of education. Another important issue is that of cultural diversity.

Australia is a multicultural country. Lawrence et. al. (2012, p.45) informs us that “44 percent of Australians were born in other countries or are the children of parents from other countries”. In order for teachers to create an equitable playing field for all their students, they need to have a strong understanding of cultural diversity, how it is relevant to the classroom, what issues may arise for students from diverse backgrounds that could hinder their success in education, and suitable pedagogical strategies to support the learning and outcomes of these students.

In this context, culture can be defined as "a mixture of ideas and practices, of meanings and activities, into which people are initiated, and to which they may subscribe as ways of living" (Lawrence et. al, 2012.

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