Reconstructing the Australian story: learning and teaching for reconciliation

Kelly, C 2013, Reconstructing the Australian story: learning and teaching for reconciliation, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size
Kelly.pdf Thesis application/pdf 3.85MB
Title Reconstructing the Australian story: learning and teaching for reconciliation
Author(s) Kelly, C
Year 2013
Abstract This study examines the question of how teacher educators can support pre-service teachers to include Indigenous themes in their curriculum planning. The research demonstrates that for a significant number of pre-service teachers preparing to work in Victorian Primary and Secondary schools there is a continuing spectrum of resistance to this inclusion. It explores the complexities for PSTs and teacher educators working in the context of government policies which expect educators to include Indigenous history and continuing struggles for social, economic and political rights as central elements of Australian history, without recognising the co-existence of Indigenous epistemologies and ways of knowing and without engaging with Indigenous demands for recognition of continuing sovereignty. Non-Indigenous teacher educators seeking to support PSTs to include Indigenous themes in their curriculum planning are offered evidence of the epistemological perspectives learnt through our schooling which prevent the inclusion of accounts of Indigenous resistance, resilience and recognition of Indigenous peoples’ central place in the Australian story. Conclusions are drawn from analysis of the intersections between two years of data from surveys of fourth year pre-service teachers’ experiences and questions about the inclusion of Indigenous themes in curriculum planning, collaborative self-study reflections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous lecturers working with those same PSTs and conversations with other Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators who shared their own experiences and elucidated the themes which emerged through the study.

The collaborative self-study explored the learning and teaching ideas and resources shared between Indigenous and non-Indigenous lecturers working together and with the 2009 cohort of PSTs to develop critical perspectives and appropriate resources for the inclusion of Indigenous themes in school curricula, specifically through the Victorian curriculum domain of Civics and Citizenship. We were particularly concerned that pre-service teachers moved away from any notion of Indigenous education being a deficit model, both for Indigenous students and throughout the curriculum. The stories told by the Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators expose examples of how epistemological perspectives lead towards Indigenous peoples being seen as the exotic other and/or victims or outsiders and described examples of their own schooling where Indigenous knowledge and experience were either omitted altogether or presented within a paradigm of ‘white is right’, where the hegemony of the dominant discourse resulted in prejudice and exclusion. But they also showed through their personal journeys that we can educate ourselves to hear the stories of Australian history across the millennia, including the present and into the future, to listen to Indigenous educators, and work together as non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples; that it is possible to take steps on the path to reconciliation, to stand up and be counted. We can choose to be teacher educators for the status quo or we can choose to be teacher educators for social justice.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) teacher education
co-existing epistemologies
critical theory
social justice
reconciliation
Versions
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 328 Abstract Views, 14225 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Fri, 01 Nov 2013, 08:57:23 EST by Denise Paciocco
© 2014 RMIT Research Repository • Powered by Fez SoftwareContact us