Challenges for Teacher Education: The Mismatch between Beliefs and Practice in Remote Indigenous Contexts

May. 10, 2010

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 38, Issue 2, p. 161 – 175.
(May 2010).

The poor performance of Australian Indigenous students in mathematics is a complex and enduring issue that needs a range of strategies to enable success in schooling for these students. Importantly, large numbers of teachers in remote Indigenous contexts are new graduates who, although full of enthusiasm, lack experience. Similarly, many of them are unfamiliar with the demands and nuances of teaching in remote and/or Indigenous contexts.

The current article explores the nexus between the beliefs and practices of teachers working in a remote, Indigenous region of Australia.

In particular, the article proposes that the discrepancy between beliefs and practices found in the reconnaissance phase of a design study is due to the teachers realising that they need to implement changed practices to enable students to learn but having little knowledge of what such practices may look like. This finding has implications for pre-service and in-service teacher education.

Updated: Nov. 29, 2010