Indigenous Literacies: “White Fella Engagements”

By Tarquam J. McKenna, Marcelle Cacciattolo and Lawrence Mahon.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper considers the sense of epistemic isolation that “white” teachers do and can experience and acknowledges the value of Indigenous life and Indigenous epistemologies. The paper identifies how it is important that teacher education programs in remote and Indigenous settings create opportunities for preservice teachers to undertake authentic practicum experiences. The discussion also illustrates the impact that preservice teacher education programs can have on teacher employment and retention in Indigenous settings. The paper finally asserts the quality of the experience for both preservice teachers and Indigenous participants.

Keywords: Indigenous Knowledge, Preservice Teacher Practicum, Authentic Learning, Praxis Inquiry, Teacher Retention, Remote Learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp.631-644. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 836.256KB).

Assoc. Prof. Tarquam J. McKenna

Co-Ordinator Postgraduate Research, School of Education, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Associate Professor McKenna works mainly in the School of Education at Victoria University. He has been working with preservice teachers and educators for nearly 3o years. He has taught, supervised and worked with training, special education and arts psychotherapies. He currently works as co-coordinator of research in the School of Education and has a particular interest in Indigenous ways of knowing.

Dr. Marcelle Cacciattolo

Chair, School of Education, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Marcelle Cacciattolo is a sociologist and a senior lecturer in the School of Education at Victoria University. Marcelle teaches in a diverse range of pre-service teacher education courses, conducts a range of research projects and supervises a variety of postgraduate research students. Marcelle’s particular research interests are cross-disciplinary involving health sciences and education-based research. Her research focuses are linked to the following themes: well being, inclusive education, social justice and authentic teaching and learning pedagogies.

Lawrence Mahon

Lecturer, School of Education , Education and Human Development, Faculty of Arts, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Lawry Mahon in a lecturer in the School of Education. His partnership with IBM led to the generation of the SWIRL program. This literacy enhancement program in the Northern Territory has been in practice for 15 years. Lawry Mahon developed the protocol to generate literacy products and short books whereby preservice teachers engage with young people in remote Australia to document their personal narratives. Mahon has established teaching opportunities in the Northern Territory and collaborates with the NT Department of Education whilst employed by Victoria University.


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