Quality Teaching in Australian Indigenous Education: Investigating an Urban School’s Approach to Fostering the Cultural Identity of Indigenous Students

By Brigitte Glover and Neil Harrison.

Published by The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 15, 2016 $US5.00

Much of the day-to-day teaching in Australian primary schools focuses on literacy and numeracy, with related content knowledge being delivered to students using similar methodologies and pedagogies. It is increasingly argued that “good pedagogy” is the same for all students, and it is not necessary for teachers to recognise and account for the specific cultural backgrounds of students. This research reports on methods used at one school situated in a large urban location to support the cultural identities of Indigenous students. Face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted to identify teachers’ attitudes and approaches in assisting Indigenous students to develop their cultural identity. The study found that the school and its teachers were engaged in valuable activities aimed at helping Indigenous students to feel recognised and valued at the school. There were, however, a range of school policies and opinions held by participants that were found to be inconsistent with the educational aims of the state’s Aboriginal Education Consultative Group. The research confirms the need for increased collaboration between schools and Indigenous people at a local level in order to develop good pedagogy specifically for Indigenous learners.

Keywords: Indigenous Students, Partnerships, Identity, Community Engagement, Country

The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, Volume 24, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.45-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 15, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 314.870KB)).

Brigitte Glover

Honours Candidate, Department of Educational Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Dr. Neil Harrison

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Methodological expertise focuses on ethnography, interviewing techniques and the development of generative research methods. In 2011 he received the Dean's Service Award at Macquarie University for his significant contributions to the students, staff and connected community for Education. In 2003 he received the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Early Career Researcher Award.