Secret Transmissions: Modelling cross-cultural relations in classroom discourses


Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 35, Issue 1 February 2007, pages 41 - 53

It is often assumed in education that we have left the deficit model behind, but this paper suggests that policies and programs continue to position Indigenous students within a discourse of progress and enlightenment. Through this discourse, they are positioned between an image of what they once were as disadvantaged and what they are supposed to become in the process of studying at school and university.

This paper examines some of the messages that are secretly transmitted both inside and outside the classroom when Indigenous students are constituted in discourse as behind or below and having to catch-up to the non-Indigenous students. It suggests other ways in which teachers could address the production of cross-cultural relations through classroom discourses to avoid positioning Indigenous people in a deficit relation to non-Indigenous people.

Updated: Jan. 14, 2008