ERIC Number: ED443619
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
Barriers to Effective Teaching of Indigenous Students.
Partington, Gary; Richer, Kaye; Godfrey, John; Harslett, Mort; Harrison, Bernard
This study of the classroom practice of an elementary school teacher of Aboriginal students in Western Australia demonstrates the way in which teacher intentions are hindered by the sociopolitical context of the school. The teacher had been identified by the school as a successful teacher of Indigenous students and was accepted by Aboriginal parents as such. The situation in which he worked, however, was not conducive to the establishment of effective strategies for communication or better relationships with parents and the community. Findings from observations of classroom events and interviews with the teacher, students, and other key participants indicated that the teacher was unable to translate good intentions into satisfactory outcomes for Aboriginal students because the teacher's own value system differed markedly from those of his students; the principal constructed an environment that reflected the dominant culture and did not welcome Indigenous students and parents; the teacher was also deputy principal, and was identified with the administration by the parents, resulting in parent alienation; the school did not have the infrastructure to support teachers' efforts to provide appropriate schooling for Indigenous students; and conflict among students that arose from outside factors inhibited the teacher's efforts to provide quality schooling for the Aboriginal students. For better education of Indigenous students, change must start at the top; teachers and parents need to cooperate to satisfy student needs, not bureaucratic or parent wishes; and parents must be welcomed as collaborators. (TD)
Descriptors: Aboriginal Australians, Administrator Attitudes, Bureaucracy, Educational Environment, Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Foreign Countries, Parent School Relationship, Politics of Education, Racial Bias, School Culture, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Teacher Effectiveness, Teaching Methods
Full text at Web site: http://www.aare.edu.au/99pap/par99618.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Joint Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education and the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (Melbourne, Australia, November 29-December 2, 1999). References not included in this copy.