Article | Open Access
Practicing Teachers’ Reflections: Indigenous Australian Student Mobility and Implications for Teacher Education
Abstract: Social constructions of education historically have impacted adversely on marginalised Indigenous Australian students whose mobile lifestyles and cultural positioning challenge teachers’ social inclusion practices. This paper examines the preparation and capacity of pre-service teachers to engage with mobile Indigenous students and their communities. Evidence is drawn from practicing teachers who reflected on their experiences in working with Indigenous students and their communities since graduation and how their experiences, both pre- and post-graduation, impacted on their beliefs and practices. Individual interviews were conducted with four teachers who also participated in the first stage of the study as a group of 24 second year primary pre-service teachers at a regional Australian university. It was found that pre-service teachers representing a range of world views benefit from positive, scaffolded experiences that provide opportunities to develop practices that foster social justice and inclusion. The findings of this study have implications for providing pre-service teachers with opportunities to understand how historical factors impact on Indigenous student mobility in contemporary Australian educational settings and the development of socially inclusive pedagogical practices. Further longitudinal research to expand the evidence base around developing culturally-appropriate pedagogical practices in pre-service teachers is needed to support their transition into teaching.
Keywords: indigenous mobility; pre-service teachers; scaffolded experiences; social inclusion; social justice
© Beverley Moriarty and Maria Bennet. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.