In order to alleviate systematic Indigenous disadvantage, the Australian government launched the Closing the Gap framework in 2008. That framework calls on Indigenous families to send their children to classes prepared to learn, as well as the concept of “school readiness.”
The school system makes the implication that Indigenous parents and Indigenous culture are to blame when children are not prepared. Instead, the education system questioned whether Australian institutions were adequately prepared to accommodate Native and Indigenous kids’ educational needs. Here are the study’s findings.
Three major areas of concern were found in the research on teacher readiness.
Indigenous children are more likely to enroll in school, participate in extracurricular activities, and feel a sense of belonging when First Nations staff and people of Indigenous background are present in the educational setting. As a result, there are more overt First Nations representations in the classroom.
In Australia, more than 5% of students identify as Indigenous. But just 2% of all instructors are from the First Nations population. The systemic lack of Indigenous teachers muffles professional Indigenous voices, particularly when it comes to the formulation of Indigenous educational policy.
Pre-service teacher training is no longer valued by Indigenous students enrolled in higher education; however, this is viewed as a result of the high turnover rates among in-service Indigenous teachers.
Due to increased instances of bigotry, a rigorous workload, and a lack of gratitude, some instructors are abandoning their positions. This means less experienced teachers are filling their roles, and they haven’t been exposed to pre-service teacher training. This is a disservice to both educators and students.
Instructors in Victoria and Queensland who were just starting out felt unprepared to teach the wide range of learners, including Indigenous youngsters. Many voiced the need for Australian Teacher Resources and professional development programs. Non-Indigenous teachers in NSW said they lacked the skills necessary to teach Indigenous perspectives in their curriculum in conformity with the Australian Curriculum.
Australian teachers must demonstrate their familiarity with the histories of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in order to meet the country’s professional requirements.
It has been established that pre-service teachers do not receive enough training to meet their needs. Additional research demonstrates inadequate teacher preparation and professional development practices as well as instructors’ limited viewpoints on their Indigenous students.
Their possibilities for learning, attendance, involvement, and overall perception of school are all significantly impacted by the interactions that Indigenous kids have with their teachers. Click here for more information on the Indigenous people of Australia. The thoughts and attitudes of the teachers have an impact on the learning environment in the classroom and the relationships with the pupils.
However, the bulk of non-Indigenous professors have little to no direct interaction with Indigenous people and are unfamiliar with their traditions. When lessons are planned without taking into consideration the abilities of Indigenous children, a deficit mindset may develop. It is difficult to develop a teaching plan for a group of people one hasn’t ever met or interacted with, and this shows in the critical areas involving First Nations pupils.
According to studies, it takes understanding of the people and their culture to create an environment that is supportive of learning for Indigenous children. Unconscious bias and a deficit mentality must be pushed aside. The forms of knowledge that Indigenous students employ, the knowledge that individuals bring to the classroom, and the manner in which their cultural practices, values, and beliefs affect them as students must all be taken into consideration by teachers.
When teachers adjust their teaching strategies to the needs of Indigenous students and connect their curriculum to local Indigenous communities, they are more successful in energizing First Nations participation and managing their behavior.
A top-notch curriculum that incorporates Indigenous perspectives is essential. When the educational curriculum is pertinent to their everyday lives, it is discovered that Indigenous children’s feeling of a positive self-identity is increased, along with their sense of connection and closeness to school. Academic success is the product of these two.
Children from non-Indigenous backgrounds also benefit from learning about and understanding Indigenous culture, which also combats prejudice and discrimination and promotes a more positive learning environment. However, the in-depth analysis of the research identified a number of issues:
- There has been some conflict about the Australian Curriculum’s indigenous components.
- The Aboriginal as well as Torres Strait Islander Historic and Cultures cross-curriculum priority was established in order to increase the understanding and respect of Indigenous histories and cultures among all young Australians.
- However, there were political and cultural disagreements over this endeavor. Research has shown that it is ineffective and tokenistic even when it is employed since it is unclear what constitutes essential information.
Finally, when cross-curricular agendas are suggested as a solution to Indigenous children’s poor academic performance and disengagement, it devalues Indigenous people, histories, and knowledge.
Indigenous subjects must be included in the Australian curriculum (https://www.studyaustralia.gov.au/english/study/education-system), although it can be challenging for schools to modify their curricula such that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students are interested.
It has been shown to be an effective strategy for integrating Native children into the general school system and strengthening both their sense of self as Indigenous people and as students.
If English is not their first language, Indigenous children may encounter a linguistic barrier while learning information, according to studies. The school curriculum must take into consideration the linguistic needs of these students, and teachers must be adept at scaffolding their learning. Once the language barrier has been removed, more effective teaching can take places for all of the students, as the need for repetition won’t be as severe.