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Two way learning: preservice teachers and supervising teachers


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In 2014-2015, a team of Elders, Aboriginal and non- Indigenous academic staff have worked together to conduct a professional development program that would challenge supervising teachers’ views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners.
Presentation by Deborah Heck and Daniel Neil, University of Southern Queensland
1 October 2015, Adelaide

Published in: Education
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Two way learning: preservice teachers and supervising teachers

  1. 1. / ourmobteach Two way learning: preservice teachers and supervising teachers Deborah Heck and Daniel Neill #OurMobTeach 2015
  2. 2. What the project did Develop sustainable partnerships between the University of the Sunshine Coast and Schools to facilitate student professional experience placements. Achieved through mentor teacher participation in a Professional development program.
  3. 3. Professional Development • Welcome by Elders • Language and how we use it • Identity • Culture and community • Stereotypes • Embedding perspectives • Resources • Reflections on supporting role as a mentor Developing a culture of learning through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges
  4. 4. Placement form option  All students are invited to apply when they complete their placement form for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program.  Student are matched with mentor teachers and have access to an online community
  5. 5. Teacher contributions Contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers to school communities: • History of our land • Cultural knowledge and resources • Leaders, role models and carers
  6. 6. Contributions of PST Contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PST to school communities: Sharing of oral history Pedagogical style Leaders and role models PST contribution seemed more valued that teachers
  7. 7. Teachers identify challenges of being PST Recognition School policies Cultural history
  8. 8. PST support sources Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PST Education academic staff Elders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community members Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teacher mentors
  9. 9. Learning about this has been helpful because  “Helping to teach children Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education with respect and correctly. Having a mentor helps teachers to ask questions and be guided. I did not take part in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education when I studied for my degree and I know of other universities have this subject in their education degree. Elders are so important to the community and their place and knowledge of the community helps teachers and community members to learn more and receive a first hand account of how history has changed and what we as teachers and the next generation can help to educate others.”
  10. 10. Implications for mentor teaching practice Validates current practice Maintaining high expectations Code switching and providing time Exploring diversity Need for professional development Need to share practice with colleagues
  11. 11. Implications as a mentor Value PST and what they bring as a resource but don’t wear students out Incorporate Indigenous pedagogy Provide time for code switching School based register of teachers to support Indigenous PST Engage all PST in professional development of practicum
  12. 12. Implications as a mentor Take time to develop a relationship with the preservice teacher make them feel welcome to the school Ask students where they are going so you can facilitate their journey don’t assume what they want to do Talk with students about what teaching is like Be inclusive of a sense of family, responsibilities and obligations Talk about the expectations students have of their mentor teacher and develop a shared understanding
  13. 13. Challenges for mentor teachers  Getting teachers to attend and engage in professional development such as time  Time required to develop knowledge  Lack of awareness of the importance  Funding for ongoing professional development that also highlights the importance of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers and preservice teachers
  14. 14. Challenges for Students  Identifying on professional experience can create some challenges  Some students have a lack of connection to their community and might feel they should not participate  Students are frightened of being pigeon holes. Not all students have the knowledge and can share
  15. 15. What will continue after the project  PST option on the placement form will be maintained as an ongoing practice within the School of Education  The online community will be maintained to facilitate the development of a community of students, academic staff and possibly Elders  Matching preservice teaches with mentors who have undertaken the professional development program
  16. 16. Lessons for others  Recognise how challenging professional experience can be for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students  Explore ways to provide professional development for non- Indigenous teachers in an ongoing way
  17. 17. / ourmobteach what works? so what? what’s next?