Socio-Economic and Ecological implications to Class Management
Education is a complex system that constitutes numerous sub-systems, which work towards a common goal. The socio-economic and ecological factors that affect education require an analysis to improve the framework of curriculum and therefore the Victorian system of education’s socio-economic and ecological factors need a review with the intention of improving it.
Socio-cultural and economic dimensions are an integral constituent of education because each child who joining the educational system belongs to a society and culture, and the child has an economic status. The social factors usually include the environment, movement in the society, interaction with different communities just to mention a few. On the other hand, economic factors include earning, nature of work, and even the status in the society. The socio-cultural perspectives may be related to the individual’s role as well as the individual’s interactions in the form of different social and community related activities, which ultimately lead to an all round development especially the psychological dimension (Vygotsky, 1978, p.90).
Bruner (1960, pp32-34) and Vygotsky refer to a child’s environment with respect to the emphasis on the social nature of learning, the development of skill through the process of scaffolding. The concept of scaffolding is very similar to Vygotsky's notion of the zone of proximal development, and it is common for the terms to be used interchangeably. Scaffolding entails a beneficial structured relation between an adult and a child with the aim of helping the child achieve a specific goal.
Most modern child development theorists including Bruner accept that both a child’s biology and the child’s environment have a role in the child’s progressive growth and development. Bronfenbrenner’s (1990) ecological systems theory concentrates on the value and circumstance of the child’s environment. He states that as a child develops, the interaction within these environments becomes more complex. This can arise as the child’s physical and cognitive ability become stronger and hence, the idea that the surroundings of the child may affect the child positively or negatively is the focus of Bronfenbrenner’s theory (1990).
The concept of ‘nurture’ was supported by Jerome Bruner which states that a child is born with certain inborn potential, which may not develop to full extent unless the child is within a healthy environment in which he can enjoy social exposure. In addition, the child needs good economic status for him/her to move freely and confidently in a given surrounding. Therefore, children who are disadvantaged socio-economically may experience educational disadvantage before they can practice what they learn theoretically in the class.
Considerations for curriculum framework
If we consider the theoretical perspectives of socio-economic and ecological theories, the following would be the guiding principle of the development of a curriculum framework at a lower level.
Knowledge of Ecological and Human System
Ecological knowledge and knowledge of the human system are extremely relevant in the field of curriculum development. In line with the relevance, the pedagogues have to look into the matter if the children are having favorable conditions that support growth and change such as nutritious food, shelter, hygiene, a healthy environment and emotional security.
Parenting services were proposed to start early in Victoria, in order to put the socio economic and ecological factors in view. This is the basis of the Victorian educational services. It was a functional arrangement, and this initiative received applause in the area of education for the economically weaker populace. The programs included services such an Early-parenting-centre (EPC) day stay. Residential, group and home-based services are pivotal secondary support services, due to the expertise and focus on child’s health, development, the promotion of family wellbeing, and the parent infant attachment (www.cyf.vic.gov.au/childprotection-family-services/family-and-early-parenting-support).The Victorian education services were initiated by the following Early-parenting-centres in Victoria and Tweddle, Child and Family Health Service in Tweddle, and at Parenting-assessment-and-skill-development services (PASDS) providers.
A growing evidence-base for early parenting services
There is a growing need for the provision of early childhood-safety, stability, development and the emotional relationship between an infant and caregiver, are critical elements for establishing the foundation for effective learning.
Drivers for change
There was a need to improve the early parenting services to meet the requirements of susceptible children and families throughout the state of Victoria. Critical service drivers to bring desirable changes include:
• a significant increase in the birth rate in Victoria
• a new understanding of the benefits of early parenting services, which is impacting on waiting times and leading to increasing demand for current services
Victoria’s diverse cultures
In Victoria, migration patterns continue to change with a recent increase in families coming from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa in particular. These community groups are not properly represented in early parenting services. There is an urgent need to review the relevance, cultural aspect, availability and feasibility of these services for such communities.(ibid)
Greater service requirement
It is known that there are many such families which are unable to avail the benefit of comprehensive and different integrated services. The most effective way of improving outcomes for children requires a collaborative and coordinated service response such as early parenting services, child and family services and other health and community services in addition to educational provisions.
Having seen the relevance of certain theories as mentioned above, the aspects of consideration while framing a curriculum, we can point out socioeconomic background is an important factor in school attainment. Factors including monthly income, parents’ educational background, social class, interaction and exposure, environment exert significant impact on education. Proper strategic education can gulf the gap if any to a great extent in the case of socioeconomic disadvantage. (Zentella, 1992,pp211-226). We can bring out desired changes in the school culture to deal with the factor of diversity. (Winfield & Manning, 1992,pp181-214). In addition, socio-pedagogic strategies like mentoring and support system can yield much better results.
Curriculum development is a tedious process as curriculum is the entire blueprint of the curricular activities that specifically includes course outline, teaching, and learning. Unless the objectives are clear, and the textbooks are available, one cannot teach properly. Moreover, if proper teaching does not take place, the learning outcomes will be at stake.
The teaching-learning strategies depend on the course material that is chosen and developed after an intensive research in the children’s psychological aspect both developmental and cognitive. A curriculum developer must look into the socio-economic background the target learners for whom the target curriculum has been designed and made available. It is because of the fact that learners from different background tend to learn in different ways ( Dunn, 1989, pp40-42). There are many factors that a developer of the course and an instruction consider while achieving the curricular target conceived by the planners and the course developers.
The following scenario has been conceived regarding students with socio-economic disadvantages. Curricular and co-curricular strategies to cope with the problems follow:
If students are from different cultural background, the teacher may employ differentiated instruction as a strategy of teaching.
The assumptions would be:
•No two students are alike.
•No two students learn in the same identical way.
•An enriched setting for one student is not an automatically enriched situation for another.
On the basis of the above pedagogic points the following activities will be integrated with the classroom activities:
• Setting and practicing specific activities, make close observations, assign different activities, facilitate each of them, observe, and follow up. Differentiated lessons should be made available for the following reasons:
•A different lesson is not taught for each student each day.
• The lesson does not lead to chaos,
•differentiate lessons are not only for students who demonstrate a need for acceleration.
Rather, it is felt that differentiated lesson is proactive, student-centered, and organic. It is based on the combination of a whole class, group, and individualized coaching. It considers a vision of success for our students. It also recognizes the variance in learning styles of our students and providing an assortment of assignments within units of tutoring. In addition, it allows students to choose, with teacher direction, the route to their learning.
It is believed that differentiated instruction strategy will provide opportunities for students to demonstrate proficiency in an area they already know and allow them to move forward. The proposed strategy is expected to provide multiple approaches to content (input), process (how), and product (output).
Teaching Students having poor socio economic background:
Different strategies are often necessary when teaching children with low socio-economic status.
All students have equal rights in class, but it is a recommendation that students of low socio-economic status be allocated more care and support. If the educator does not come from a background of low socio-economic status, the educator may have to work hard to relate with these students and their families. It is important that the treatment of all students is fair and that the provision of support is as needed by each of your individual students.
•Keep an open mind about your students and refrain from stereotyping.
•Gain knowledge about teaching diverse groups of students, including those from low socio-economic status groups.
• There should be an open and trustworthy relationship between the educator and the students. The educator should be open when communicating with children, and offer assistance with the problems they encounter, which might be a hindrance to their academic performance.
•The educator should allocate some extra time before school, after school or even during class time for the children to complete their homework assignments and ask for help.
•Find ways to relate to the children and to help them understand how their education is vital to improving their economic wellbeing.
•The children lectured on the importance of college and graduate school, and they need to know that they are expected to work hard in elementary school and high school they can earn scholarships to attend school.
Bronfenbrenner, U. 1990. Discovering what families do in Rebuilding the Nest: A New Commitment to the American Family. Family Service America.
Bruner, J. 1960. The Process of Education. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. .pp32-34
Dunn, R. 1989. Do students from different cultures have different learning styles?. International Education. 16 (50), 40–42.
Vygotsky, L. S. 1978. Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Winfield, L. F., & Manning, J. 1992. In M. E. Dilworth (Ed.), Diversity in teacher education: New expectations (pp. 181–214). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Zentella, A. C. 1992. In M. Saravia-Shore & S. F. Arvizu (Eds.), Cross-cultural literacy: Ethnographies of communication in multiethnic classrooms (pp. 211–226). New York: Garland.