Effective Teaching Practices Reported By Aboriginal Parents, Students And Their Teachers: Comparisons And Contrasts

Year: 2015

Author: Lewthwaite, Brian, Boon, Helen, Lloyd, Natalie

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This presentation summarizes the first phase of a three part research project conducted in partnership with the Diocese of Catholic Education, Townsville, Queensland. The aim of the project is to identify and verify the influence of teaching practices that Aboriginal and Torres Strait students and parents describe as being consequential in their learning.
The project, overall, seeks to respond to a long-standing claim in Australia that there is astoundingly little known about what Aboriginal students perceive as the qualities of effective teachers and the impact this has on educational outcomes. Further, the project seeks to empirically validate the generalisability of commonly cited characteristics of effective teaching findings to isolate outstanding facets of quality teaching that may be salient to Aboriginal students.
The first phase of the research was centered on gathering accounts from students, parents and their teachers from phenomenologically aligned interviews. These are presented with an emphasis on similar and contrasting themes among these three groups. Based upon the identified themes extracted from these interviews, we present important implications, especially in regards to (1) the national discourse on effective teaching and (2) recent emergent issues in Australia which have seen the development of professional standards for teachers. Several of these standards pertain to professional knowledge and practice which is most effective for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Further stages in the research process are also presented.