Teacher education with Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing as a key pillar
Maher, M. (2012). Teacher education with Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing as a key pillar. AlterNative: An international journal of indigenous scholarship, 8 (3), 343-356.
This paper reports on a project known as the Growing Our Own Indigenous teacher education initiative. This project involves the provision of teacher education, in situ, to Indigenous assistant teachers in remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, Australia. First, factors leading to the development of the project are provided. Second, the theoretical and conceptual frameworks for the project are explained. Third, the collaborative self-study methodology for the study is justified. Fourth, perceived successes are described: these include community engagement, cultural responsiveness in the programme, improved attendance of children at school, and the value of collaboration for lecturers. Fifth, challenges of the project are explained and the strategies for addressing them are described. Challenges include those of a physical nature, students having English as an additional language, ensuring the development of culturally appropriate assessment, and the challenge for lecturers of standing in two worlds and for students to cross boundaries. In conclusion, the significance of the project is discussed.