Lewthwaite et al (2016) explored Aboriginal student and family voices about what what classroom environments and teacher practices look like if they are truly reflective of Aboriginal students’ histories, preference and circumstances.
While many of the themes that emerged mirror existing research into what works to support disadvantaged students, there is one significant difference. Lewthwaite et al suggest that what is missing from much of the current literature is the acknowledgement of the deeper role of culturally located teaching practices. That is learning experiences that reflect, validate and promote each student’s culture and language, and respond appropriately for the benefit of each student. They describe this a Culturally Responsive Pedagogy’ or a ‘pedagogy of difference.’
This is supported by the findings from the Productivity Commission’s 2016 research into Indigenous Primary School achievement (see our Research Review). The Productivity Commission also recommend that Indigenous students need quality instruction that is tailored to individual students with a culture of high expectations, strong teacher-student and community relationships, and support for Indigenous culture.
Read our review of Lewthwaite’s research
Read a two-page summary of the review
The full research paper is available at:
Lewthwaite, B. E., Osborne, B., Lloyd, N., Boon, H., Llewellyn, L., Webber, T., Laffin, G., Harrison, M., Day, C., Kemp, C.,& Wills, J. (2015). Seeking a Pedagogy of Difference: What Aboriginal Students and Their Parents in North Queensland Say About Teaching and Their Learning. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 40(5).