Teachers as "two-year tourists" in an Australian State School for Aboriginal children: dilemmas of curriculum, agency and teacher preparation

Hickling-Hudson, Anne R. & Ahlquist, Roberta (2004) Teachers as "two-year tourists" in an Australian State School for Aboriginal children: dilemmas of curriculum, agency and teacher preparation. Journal of Postcolonial Education, 3(1), pp. 67-88.


This paper analyses the authors’ interviews with teachers at a remote rural State school in an Aboriginal community in Australia. In our conversations with the teachers, we asked them to discuss the lack of Aboriginal material in the school’s curriculum, a question which many had not considered before. The interviews show the teachers in context, revealing their career stage, their perceptions of their pedagogy in an Aboriginal community, and their views about the adequacy of their university preparation for inter-cultural curriculum perspectives. The article raises critical questions about the role played by the State, universities, and teacher education programs as they prepare predominantly white teachers to teach in Indigenous communities. It argues that inappropriately trained teachers are likely to re/produce a neo-colonial regime through the implementation of a Eurocentric and thus inappropriate curriculum for Indigenous students, thus contributing to the underachievement of many of them. It concludes with a discussion of ways forward to address these serious deficiencies, in the interests of working for socially just and equitable schooling for all children.

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ID Code: 3502
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: State primary schooling, Indigenous education, Eurocentric curriculum, teacher pedagogy, teacher careers, beginning teachers, teacher preparation, underachievement, institutional racism, dysconscious racism, colour, blindness, culture, blindness, equity strategies
ISSN: 1443-1483
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Administration Management and Leadership (130304)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004
Deposited On: 09 Feb 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2012 11:35

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