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ERIC Number: EJ883523
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-0380-2361
Experiences of Beginning Aboriginal Teachers in Band-Controlled Schools
Wimmer, Randolph; Legare, Louise; Arcand, Yvette; Cottrell, Michael
Canadian Journal of Education, v32 n4 p817-849 2009
Compelling evidence points to the need for higher education, and especially teacher education, to become better informed about the concerns of Aboriginal peoples and to be more responsive to their needs. With this focus in mind, we had conversations with 30 beginning First Nations teachers, graduates of a teacher education program in Saskatchewan, as they reflected on their university preparation and their beginning years in band-controlled environments. We identify issues and challenges that teachers faced in making the transition from the academy to the classroom and in applying theory to practice. We stress that much of what we report is not new to teacher education. What we want to convey is that in most cases, the weaknesses of our current teacher education programs and the challenges of beginning teachers appear to be even more relevant to the experiences of beginning First Nations teachers in band-controlled schools. The teachers in our study spoke positively about their experiences as students in their teacher preparation programs. A particular strength was their cohort experience. Although feeling well-prepared in some professional areas, these teachers all indicated that they could be better prepared for working with the day-to-day realities of band-controlled schools, the lack of collegial support, and the high demands and expectations placed on them. Many expressed a desire to have formal mentorship and all wanted more "hands on" experiences. They also expressed uncertainty about how to deal with the complexity of working in tightly knit communities. (Contains 3 footnotes.)
Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE). 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada