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Collaborating for culturally responsive teaching

Culturally responsive teaching can improve outcomes for Indigenous students.

Culturally responsive teaching practices can improve academic outcomes for Indigenous students, but it can be difficult for teachers to develop a culturally responsive approach, given that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are all different and individual.

Writing in Teacher, ACER Graduate Indigenous Research Officer Jacynta Krakouer says the first step in developing a culturally responsive approach is to acknowledge that cultural competency is a journey that never really ends.

‘Just when you think that you may know everything there is to know about teaching Indigenous students, your knowledge and beliefs will be challenged,’ Ms Krakouer writes.

‘A collaborative approach to culturally responsive teaching, undertaken in partnership with the local Aboriginal community and local schools, is the most effective means of ensuring positive outcomes are achieved,’ she notes.

Ms Krakouer, who has undertaken a literature review on Indigenous cultural awareness in teaching, says the research literature points to a variety of methods that educators can employ in order to become culturally responsive with Indigenous students.

These include treating each Indigenous student as an individual with specific needs that may differ from their Indigenous peers; understanding the context within which they are working; and establishing collaborative relationships with members of the local community to build mutually respectful, trusting relationships with Indigenous students and their families. ■

Read the full article:

‘Meeting the needs of Indigenous students’, written by Jacynta Krakouer and published in Teacher, is available at teachermagazine.com.au

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