First Nations community-based placements in teacher education

Lysa Dealtry (Presenter), Melanie Sugumaran, Tace Vigliante, Sarah Redshaw

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This presentation reports on a scoping review of the international literature on First Nations community-based placements for teacher education students (TES). In response to growing calls for culturally responsive education for First Nations peoples, the review sought to understand the role workplace experiences for TES in First Nations community contexts plays in promoting TES’ cultural responsiveness. The review was also prompted by calls for Indigenous education and Indigenous education research to be led by First Nations peoples in partnership with schools and higher education institutions. Therefore, the review also explored how the provision of First Nations community-based placements in teacher education programs might facilitate these partnerships. The questions that guided the research were: What community-based placement experiences have been provided for TES to engage with First Nations peoples in their community contexts, for what purpose were these experiences provided, and what were the implications of the experiences for all participants? A secondary research question that asked what research methodologies were used, who was involved in the research, and how were they involved was formulated to explore the nature of partnerships among participants in the research. Twenty-two studies met the inclusion criteria and were analysed to understand: 1) the characteristics of First Nations community-based placements 2) the purpose of the placements 3) the reported enablers and barriers for stakeholders 4) the reported impacts, benefits, outcomes, and implications of the placements 5) the methodologies employed to investigate the research field. Preliminary findings suggest that First Nations community-based placements for the purpose of developing TES Indigenous cultural responsiveness is an emerging and under-reviewed field of inquiry. Awareness and knowledge of Indigenous cultural contexts were noted as important to teacher preparation in twenty-one studies. Indigenous cultural competency or responsiveness were broadly understood as contingent on context and accrued over time through experiential learning. As such, theoretical course-based learning about what it means to be a culturally responsive teacher was recognised as inherently limited. First Nations community-based placements afforded a situated learning approach that bridged theoretical and experiential learning for TES. The transformational potential for TES of genuine engagement with First Nations peoples was a focus of the majority of the studies reviewed. These preliminary findings suggest professional experience placements in First Nations community contexts are critical junctures, providing cross-cultural work integrated learning that frames TES cultural responsiveness.


ConferenceAustralian Association of Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleTruth, Voice, Place: Critical junctures for educational research

We look forward to welcoming you to the AARE 2023 Conference hosted by the University of Melbourne. The theme of the conference this year is Truth, Voice, Place: Critical junctures for educational research. We invite education researchers to explore critical junctures in the field. We are excited to bring together a diverse community of scholars to engage in meaningful discussions and exchange ideas on the pressing issues facing education research today.

As you will see in the Call for Papers, one immediate context for the conference theme is the upcoming referendum on recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution. This represents one of the many critical junctures facing educational researchers today, both locally and internationally. The conference aims to provide a welcome forum for scholars to discuss the implications of this historic moment, alongside the intersection of education research with broader local and global change.

We welcome submissions from education researchers across all areas of the field, including curriculum, policy, pedagogy, assessment, and leadership. We hope that the conference will provide opportunities for transformation, new possibilities, and new collaborations.
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