This paper reports a component of research that involved interviewing teachers identified as effective with Aboriginal students in selected primary and secondary schools in urban and regional Western Australia. The research shows that characteristics of effective teachers include understanding Aboriginal culture, history, and students’ home backgrounds; an ability to develop good relationships with Aboriginal students and their families, a sense of humour, and preparedness to invest time to interact with Aboriginal students out of the classroom in order to strengthen relationships. The research also indicates that effective teachers understand that Aboriginal students are often more independent than others, do not chastise or embarrass them in front of others, set challenging and achievable objectives, and include cultural relevance and recognition in the curriculum and classroom environment. This research provides directions for teacher pre-service training, teacher induction, and teacher in-service professional development. It is suggested that schools consider middle schooling pedagogy and curriculum principles as a means of better providing for adolescent Aboriginal students.
Harslett, Mort; Harrison, Bernard; Godfrey, John; Partington, Gary; and Richer, Kaye
"Teacher Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Teachers of Aboriginal Middle School Students,"
Australian Journal of Teacher Education:
2, Article 4.
Available at: http://ro.ecu.edu.au/ajte/vol25/iss2/4