Students at Risk



Students at Risk

Students at Risk

The following skills have been identified by the Brotherhood of St Laurence that teachers need in order to address student disengagement. The nine skills that help redress higher risk situations and urgent needs have been identified and called engagement skills.

These engagement skills relate to:

  • individual learning needs: identify/cater to the learning needs of individual students; personalise curriculum to address students’ strengths and weaknesses, preferences and learning styles
  • student diversity: value/respond to the diverse backgrounds and experiences of students, including disadvantaged cohorts; utilise inclusive approaches to education
  • holistic wellbeing/mental health needs: understand the role of/promote social and emotional development; identify/address mental health, psychological problems
  • classroom/behaviour management: understand/apply strategies to prevent/deal with inappropriate student behaviour
  • group/hands-on learning strategies: develop and use strategies that engage students in peer-supported and hands-on learning
  • fostering autonomy and competence: give students choices in their learning; respect students as we do adults
  • specialist support: engage in systematic coordination and communication with welfare workers; utilise access to specialist support
  • targeted interventions: know how to utilise targeted interventions (educational, behavioural, social-emotional) that are monitored regularly
  • helping at-risk, disengaged students: understand/address issues regarding the welfare of at-risk students; identify/utilise effective teaching and learning approaches for disengaged students.

It is when these supports, understandings and strategies are not available that students will become at risk.

Gonski in the Review of Funding for Schooling 2011 (final report pdf) suggested that one method for enhancing teaching quality is for teacher training programs to offer their candidates more knowledge of catering for and experience in working with disadvantaged students.