Learning through relationship: in-context development for teachers of Indigenous students
Doctor of Philosophy
SubjectTeachers of Indigenous students
Non- Indigenous educators’ practices with respect to Indigenous students
Productive learning relationships
MetadataShow full item record
In this study, I explore the experiences and qualities of productive learning relationships shared by Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators in K-12 public education contexts. I know from my own teaching experience and from existing research that non-Indigenous educators often have much to learn about teaching Indigenous students well, and about respectfully incorporating Indigenous perspectives in their daily work. This study springs from my experience as a Canadian teacher of English, Irish, and Scottish heritage who is growing through working alongside and relating with Indigenous colleagues and community members. Through a narrative inquiry approach (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000), I present stories drawn from conversational interviews (and in one case, observations) with Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators who have worked together in ways they believe have positively influenced the non- Indigenous educators’ practices with respect to Indigenous students. Each of these eleven stories is represented individually, including a piece of art, a context statement, a multi-page story, and a summary statement. In the discussion chapter, I draw out connecting ideas based on what I have learned from the stories. These include qualities such as being open, being genuine, trust, being centred on students, and emotional dynamics like fear and confidence, fun and laughter. The conclusions emphasize the variety of ways in which productive learning relationships arise and are sustained by Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators of unique personalities, backgrounds, and approaches. I point to some supporting factors, such as time and specific roles that can facilitate these learning opportunities.
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