The 4th R - Restorative pedagogical justice in embedding indigenous knowledge in teaching practice.

Year: 2012

Author: McLaughlin, Julie, Whatman, Sue, Sharma-Brymer, Vinathe

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


In this paper we report on the experiences of Pre-service teachers and their practicum supervising teachers embedding Indigenous Knowledge (IK) in teaching practice whilst participating in an (OLT) ALTC project. The aim of the project is to support Indigenous pre-service teachers in developing their expertise as future curriculum leaders in embedding IK in school curriculum. The rationale is that drawing upon their experiences will develop shared understandings of how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and perspectives can be exemplified in teacher's professional work under current Queensland Professional Teaching Standards and the changing Australian Curriculum landscape. The research question is exploring each of the participant's experience related to embedding IK in curriculum. We have used mixed-method approach of case studies and interpretive phenomenology. A blend of three theoretical frameworks – Bernstein's 'three message systems', Nakata's Cultural Interface and Critical Race Theory - have been adopted. The Pre-service participants' experiences reflect various phases of embedding IK, starting from a place of tension around how to embed Indigenous Knowledge in their practicum and make a difference in their future professional practice. We describe them as future curriculum leaders in that they are taking on the initiative to embed IK in their practice teaching having little prior exposure or experience within their own schooling or university studies. The practicum supervising teachers share their initial understandings of IK and their preparedness to work with Pre-service teachers in the embedding process. We interpret their lived experiences revealing a deeper experience: living and practising restorative pedagogical justice. That is, restoring justice in the pedagogical relationships and processes of teaching practice by negotiating a meaningful and authentic curriculum, one that is based on both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and Perspectives, and the ongoing Eurocentric western curriculum.