Culturally Appropriate Behaviour Support For Indigenous Students: What Does The Literature Show?

Year: 2015

Author: Llewellyn, Linda, Boon, Helen

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Teacher responses to Indigenous student behaviour, when couched in cultural mismatch and lack of cultural understanding, can lead to overrepresentation of Indigenous students in negative indicators associated with student behaviour. To better understand appropriate strategies to support the behaviour of Australian Indigenous students a review of the published peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed literature was undertaken. The review revealed a number of themes which underpin appropriate Indigenous student behavior support: an understanding of Self and the Other and power relations without a deficit paradigm; particular personal qualities of the teacher and the ability to create effective relationships with Indigenous students. In addition, for classroom behaviour support to be successful teachers should also know or be willing to learn: the culture and characteristics of students, their learning strengths, successful pedagogy for Indigenous students and proactive behaviour support strategies. Teachers should also use culturally based behaviour support and management strategies and create links with community. The review also revealed that while the literature offered numerous suggestions, Australian research evidence is lacking a quantum of empirically based evidence.