Power and authority in school and community : interactions between non-Indigenous teachers and Indigenous teacher assistants in remote Australian schools

Warren, Elizabeth, Baturo, Annette R., & Cooper, Thomas J. (2010) Power and authority in school and community : interactions between non-Indigenous teachers and Indigenous teacher assistants in remote Australian schools. In Zadja, Joseph & Geo-JaJa , M.A. (Eds.) The Politics of Education Reforms. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 193-207.

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Traditionally, education for Indigenous peoples within the Australian context has had a highly Eurocentric flavour (Matthews, Watego, Cooper & Baturo, 2005; Rothbaum, Weisz, Pott, Miyake & Morelli, 2000). As such, many Indigenous people who form part of this education system have found themselves in positions where communication has lacked cultural understandings and clarity, leaving them with undefined roles of minimal cultural significance. This has contributed to a sense of disempowerment for those indigenous people who otherwise hold positions of power, respect and value within their own communities. In this paper, we discuss the relationships between non-Indigenous teachers and Indigenous teacher assistants (ITA's), (community members employed to support the teachers in their classrooms) and how these relationships can enhance socially-just school outcomes for Indigenous students. We examine the present situation in remote schools, apply Weber's authority types to teachers and ITAs within school and community, outline a professional learning (PL) project that operated in three schools, provide findings with regard teachers' and ITAs’ perceptions of school and classroom, and finally draw implications for socially-just outcomes. Some remote schools employ non-Indigenous teacher assistants as well as ITAs; therefore, within this chapter, we will use the term assistant when description and discussion covers both non-Indigenous and Indigenous assistants and ITA when referring only to Indigenous teacher assistants.

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ID Code: 14538
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: External Ref No. (Project Code): LP0562352.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Indigenous education, Indigenous mathematics education, indigenous learning styles, indigenous student experiences, teacher tutor relationships, remote schooling, rural schools, Indigenous teacher aides
ISBN: 9789048132171
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education (130301)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Springer
Deposited On: 03 Sep 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:07

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