Engagement of Students in Poverty: Classrooms that Really Work

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This paper reports on federally funded research project studying the pedagogies of 30 exemplary teachers of students in poverty. Using a framework of student engagement developed in the Fair Go Project the research is undertaking extensive case studies of these teachers across diverse Australian school contexts. The case studies use qualitative methodologies. The paper will highlight the contextual differences between and the common pedagogical ground between these teachers. In this way some principles about what teachers can do to make their classrooms work for poor students will be highlighted.


Keywords: Student Engagement, Teachers’ Pedagogies, Poor Students
Stream: Equity, Social Justice and Social Change; Community, Culture, Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Geoff Munns

Associate Professor, School of Education, University of Western Sydney
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Geoff Munns has a research focus on ways to improve social and academic outcomes for educationally disadvantaged students, including those from Indigenous backgrounds. Before working at UWS, Geoff Munns had 15 years experience in schools serving poor communities as a classroom teacher, school executive and Principal. His doctoral studies were undertaken while he was Assistant Principal and then Principal of one of the most disadvantaged schools in NSW. As a university researcher his research has continued this strongly focused commitment to making schools and classrooms more productive for poor students. Research and publications have been in the areas of student engagement, student aspirations, student retention, teachers’ work, literacy, classroom pedagogy and classroom curriculum. As a researcher, Geoff Munns has a valuable and rare combination of classroom experiences as a teacher of students in poverty, long standing relationships with, and commitment to, poor Australian communities, and directly related empirical and academic work.

Ref: L09P1005