ERIC Number: ED442597
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
"We Learn A Lot from Mr. Hart": A Qualitative Study of an Effective Teacher of Aboriginal Students.
Harslett, Mort; Godfrey, John; Harrison, Bernard; Partington, Gary; Richer, Kaye
A profile of an effective teacher of Aboriginal Australian students was constructed based on research on the teaching of Aboriginal students. Using the profile as a framework, this paper reports on an ethnographic study of an effective teacher in action with Aboriginal students. The study consisted of semi-participative observation of a teacher of grades 6-7 in a Perth (Australia) metropolitan school in which 45 percent of the students were Aboriginal. Data were gathered via observation, conversation, and recorded interviews with the teacher, principal, and students. Elements identified as critical to effective teaching of Aboriginal students were: an understanding of Aboriginal culture and family background; the teacher's capacity to develop relationships based on openness, flexibility, empathy, and a collegial rather than authoritarian stance; a student-centered, relationship-based pedagogy featuring peer tutoring, small-group work, cooperative learning, and self-responsibility for learning and assessment; and the negotiation of curriculum and other educational processes with students. Behavioral boundaries were set in consultation with students. It is important to Aboriginal students that the behavior, not the student, be rewarded or sanctioned in private. Self-esteem, confidence, and social skills were enhanced in the classroom, although it seemed at times that academic teaching and learning were less intense than expected from a traditional Anglo perspective. (Contains 16 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, Cultural Awareness, Culturally Relevant Education, Educational Practices, Foreign Countries, Indigenous Populations, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Participatory Research, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Student Relationship
For full text: http://www.swin.edu.au/aare/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia