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`All things to all people`: indigenous teachers in the Australian teaching profession

journal contribution
posted on 2006-08-01, 00:00 authored by Ninetta Santoro, J A Reid
This paper reports on the findings of a four-year study that seeks to understand the experiences and career pathways of Indigenous teachers in Australia. We present data obtained from in-depth interviews with current and former teachers in order to provide a qualitative account of what lies behind demographic trends in Indigenous teacher recruitment and retention in Australia. The paper highlights the expectations of school and wider communities that Indigenous teachers will be 'all things to all people' and will fill a number of complex and sometimes conflicting roles within and beyond classrooms. We speculate that these expectations contribute to their decisions to resign from the school system to work elsewhere. We also introduce and problematise the notion of the Indigenous teacher as a category in the consciousness of teachers, administrators and other participants in the discourses of Australian schooling.
We conclude by arguing the need for non-Indigenous student-teachers to be better prepared to work alongside Indigenous colleagues and to take more active roles in the implementation of policy and initiatives around Indigenous education. The paper also raises implications for the recruitment and retention of Indigenous teachers.

History

Journal

European journal of teacher education

Volume

29

Issue

3

Pagination

287 - 303

Publisher

Routledge

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

0261-9768

eISSN

1469-5928

Indigenous content

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologise for any distress that may occur.

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2006, Association for Teacher Education in Europe

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