SOCIO-CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS: A PROPOSAL FOR PRE-SERVICE TEACHER EDUCATION

PURPOSE:

This familiarisation and awareness education will (would) support graduate teachers by providing insights into the dynamics of interaction likely to occur within schools and their communities and also between teachers and students in the classroom context.

It would consider singular schools and communities along with the wider interface of the Northern Territory community.

It would take account of the social and cultural elements likely to impact upon and influence the three-way relationship co-existing between teachers, students and parents/primary caregivers. Included could be the wider factors impinging upon and influencing relationships.

OBJECTIVES:

1. To help students construct a teaching program and teach in a manner which takes into account the strengths, needs, ambition and their potential contribution to Australian society of:

* Traditionally oriented and urbanised Indigenous Australians from communities, outstations, camps and towns.

* Ethnic minorities.

* Displaced and resettled children and families.

* Defence Force Families and others who regularly transition between states and territories.

* Students with special needs.

2. To consider the broader cross-cultural issues and relationships inherent within Northern Territory (and indeed Australian) society: To canvass optimum economic, political, social and cultural developments of all community sectors, with emphasis on caring, sharing and mutual harmony.

3. To engender confidence, awareness and understanding needed to approach members of minority groups, including capacity to empathetically hear and understand their concerns and interests

STRUCTURE:

To pose the following questions and situations and engage with students toward answering them:

1. How can teachers communicate the importance of schooling to students and parents in remote community settings?

2. Why is schooling important in cross-cultural contexts?

3. How much flexibility on the teacher’s part is reasonable when working in

cross-cultural contexts?

4. How can female teachers best adapt to male/female role expectations in remote communities and when working with minority groups?

5. Strategies available for coping with extreme behaviours including understanding and management.

6. The need to adapt or maintain one’s own mores when teaching in cross-cultural situations.

7. Truancy impacts in remote and urban schools.

8. The need to fully consider and be aware of child abuse issues, including mandatory reporting, in all community (remote and urban) situations. This will take account of legislation, within school communication, possible parent/carer response to reporting outcomes, supporting victims and so on.

9. The need for ethnic groups to be aware and understanding of the wider (majority) norm of expectation.

10 . The issues of disparity between the number of males and females in teaching and teacher leadership positions. Background and reasons for this evolution.

11. Consideration of equal opportunity and affirmative action as it could or might apply on the basis of gender and ethnicity. The considerations that teachers need to take into account around these matters.

12. The attitudes likely to be held by parents, students, existing staff toward new teachers coming into schools to teach. The potential of graduate teachers to contribute to the school/community ethos.

ORGANISATION

Depending on what CDU and our DoE wanted from a focussing viewpoint, there are a number of ways in which this study could be developed.

This is a suggested framework.

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