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Teaching Indigenous children : listening to and learning from indigenous teachers

Santoro, Ninetta and Reid, Jo-Anne and Crawford, Laurie and Simpson, Lee (2011) Teaching Indigenous children : listening to and learning from indigenous teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36 (10). pp. 65-76. ISSN 1835-517X

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Abstract

This article is based on the findings of a qualitative case study that examined the professional experiences and career pathways of fifty current and former Australian Indigenous teachers. Here, we draw on data obtained from semi-structured interviews with the teachers to highlight their knowledge in three key areas: ‘Indigenous ways of knowing’, ‘Indigenous learners’ lives beyond the classroom’ and ‘Building relationships with Indigenous students and communities’. We suggest that Indigenous teachers can potentially play important roles as teacher educators and as mentors to non-Indigenous teachers and preservice teachers. We argue that it is important for schooling systems and teacher education to create and formalise opportunities for non-Indigenous teachers and preservice teachers to listen to, and learn from their Indigenous colleagues.