Leaders in Educational Thought: Ways of Change
Five leaders in education share their thinking about effective ways to support every student in reaching their full potential. They discuss how a rapidly changing world demands an education system that is in tune with the skills, knowledge and characteristics required of students if they are to become personally successful, economically productive and actively engaged citizens.
Australian Study on Indigenous Education
Luke describes the rationale and context for the study.
Learning to Listen
Listening to others and reflecting on individual experiences was a central part of the learning journey in the study.
Valuing What We Do Not Know
Understanding indigenous cultures includes valuing the perspectives of others and engaging in conversations about things we do not know.
Teachers who have daily engagement in their students’ cultures are most likely to make the pedagogical shifts needed to change their teaching practices.
When asked to give advice regarding what needed to change to improve indigenous education the majority of educators in the study identified factors in the students’ home life.
Basic Skills Approach
Despite their commitment to educational improvement for their indigenous students the study identified that the majority of educators are following a basic skills approach in working with them.
Changing indigenous education practices requires multiple, locally developed approaches based on relevant learning experiences that require intellectual demand.
The Pedagogical Tool Kit
Three strategies are essential to closing the learning gap in indigenous education - social justice, recognitive justice and representative justice.
Demand and Engagement
The tool kit for change includes practices based on cultural capital, high intellectual demand and active engagement with indigenous people.
Culturally Relevant Strategies
Approaches that recognize and value indigenous language, history and cultures lead to improvements in indigenous education.
Current Cultural Complexity
Countries around the world are acknowledging that monocultures no longer exist and that learning about other cultures has educational value for everyone.
Equity and Social Justice Issues
Respecting and understanding cultures includes acknowledgement of the multiple factors that differ among them.
Knowing our Elders
Elders across cultures provide us with rich opportunities to rethink our individual and collective relationships in ways that make us better teachers.
When Narratives Are Missed
Systems risk losing both human capital and the ethics of care when intergenerational stories about culture and history are not valued in schools.
Regular teacher engagement in the cultures of students makes a difference to their learning.
Relationality: Cultural Exchanges
Teacher and student exchanges of cultural stories lead to connectedness to the world and new learning.
Critical Engagement with Technology
The ethics of technology use is a central issue in student learning about life skills and values.
Intergenerational conversations about ways of living are essential to learning the skills necessary for cultures to survive.
Culturally Relevant Teaching
Guidance from indigenous elders is a key component in developing the content of learning about indigenous cultures.
Cultural Ways of Knowing
The systemic will to develop indigenous curriculum must be balanced with the insider knowledge of indigenous experts.
Rethinking the Curriculum
Deciding what we are going to teach and how we are going to teach it is a continuing, developing and lengthy journey.
Critical literacy is an attitude towards text - not a step by step process or orthodoxy - and it requires constant reconsideration of the relationship between representation and reality.
Students need to be involved in questioning the rights and wrongs of the online world – ethics is the next frontier in critical and digital literacies.