The purpose of this research was to explore through the lens of pre-service teachers, factors that impact on Aboriginal studentsÃ¢Â€Â™ learning and engagement. This paper explores how pre-service teachers were able to understand, engage with and respond to Aboriginal students in a field-site reading program. Critical aspects of program success, such as cultural knowledge and engagement highlighted by Burridge and Chodkiewicz (2012), were investigated.Twenty-four second year pre-service teachers from a regional Australian university were matched in one-on-one teaching dyads with Aboriginal students from Kindergarten to Year 6. The reading program, which ran for one-hour sessions two afternoons each week for five weeks, was conducted as an after-school program Ã¢Â€Â˜on their turfÃ¢Â€Â™ at a local Aboriginal housing estate.Each week, group cultural debrief sessions were conducted by an on-site Elder and gatekeepers to help pre-service teachers reflect on their engagement with students. Weekly on-campus focus group discussions with pre-service teachers were led by the principal investigator and reviewed pedagogical aspects of teaching and learning.Data, based on a qualitative case study approach, were obtained from a semi-structured 13-item questionnaire completed by the pre-service teachers at the end of the program. This was triangulated against data collected by the principal investigator from informal observations of the pre-service teachers and from semi-formal interviews with the Elder and gatekeepers. Major themes distilled from the analysis of the findings include: cultural connections, developing cross-cultural relationships with Aboriginal children and culturally-appropriate engagement. The findings have implications for teacher education programs across Australia as they shed further light on culturally-appropriate pedagogical practices that impact on teacher education.
|Title of host publication||Knowledge makers and notice takers|
|Subtitle of host publication||Teacher education research impacting policy and practice|
|Place of Publication||Australia|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
|Event||Australian Teacher Education Association Conference - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia|
Duration: 30 Jun 2013 → 03 Jul 2013
|Conference||Australian Teacher Education Association Conference|
|Period||30/06/13 → 03/07/13|
Bennet, M., & Moriarty, B. (2013). Impacting practice: The undergraduate teacher and the Aboriginal student. In Knowledge makers and notice takers: Teacher education research impacting policy and practice (pp. 1-8). ATEA.