Exploring the experiences of embedding Indigenous knowledge and perspectives on teaching practicum through interpretive phenomenology

Hart, Victor G., Whatman, Susan L., Sharma-Brymer, Vinathe, McLaughlin, Juliana M., & Dreise, Mayrah (2011) Exploring the experiences of embedding Indigenous knowledge and perspectives on teaching practicum through interpretive phenomenology. In Australian Association for Educational Research 2011, 27 November-1 December 2011, Hobart, TAS. (Unpublished)


In this paper, we discuss interpretive/hermeneutic phenomenology as a theoretical approach to explore the experiences of three stakeholder groups in embedding Indigenous knowledge and perspectives on teaching practicum, a project sponsored by ALTC. We begin by asking the phenomenological question ‘what is your experience of practice teaching?’ An open, explorative, phenomenological framework seeks the meanings of experiences, not truths, from the participants’ words themselves. Interpretive phenomenology is particularly suitable to explore educational experiences (Grumet, 1992; M. van Manen, 1990), as it provides rich ground for listening to the stakeholders’ lived experience and documenting it for interpretation. In an interpretive process, perspectives on lifeworlds, worldview and lenses get highlighted (Cunningham & Stanley, 2003). We establish how through various project stages, interpretive phenomenology gets to the essence of practice teaching experience creating a pedagogical ‘understanding’ of the essential nature of shared experience as lived by the participants (M van Manen, 2002). Thereby, it foregrounds voices of agency, dissent, acceptance and resistance.

We consider how our research study focuses on the pedagogic voice of Indigenous pre-service teachers and the recognition of complex pedagogic fields in Indigenous education. We explain how this study seeks insights into their evaluation of pedagogic relations with two other education stakeholders – their practicum supervising teachers at schools and university staff involved practicum experience. As such, our study aims to support and develop long term, future-oriented opportunities for Indigenous pre-service teachers to embed Indigenous knowledge in the curricula. We conclude with some projections into the discourse on how Indigenous knowledge (IK) and perspectives might be diversely exemplified in pre-service teachers’ professional works (particularly E-portfolios). We speculate how this change could in turn maximise opportunities for Indigenous pre-service teachers, their supervising teachers and university staff to demonstrate leadership in their field through the creation of future tangible products such as units of work, resources, assessment and reflection tools. The processes contextualising the cultural interface of competing knowledge systems (Nakata, 2007) provide important analytical tools for understanding issues affecting student-teacher-mentor relationships occurring on practicum.

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ID Code: 64685
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: teacher education, pre-service teachers, Indigenous knowledge, interpretative phenomenology, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education (130301)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators (130313)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 22 Nov 2013 01:01
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2015 20:44

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