Pre-service teachers’ pedagogical relationships and experiences of embedding Indigenous Australian knowledge in teaching practicum
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This paper argues from the standpoint that embedding Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in Australian curricula occurs within a space of tension, 'the cultural interface', in negotiation and contestation with other dominant knowledge systems. In this interface, Indigenous knowledge is in a state of constancy and flux, invisible and simultaneously pronounced depending on the teaching and learning contexts. More often than not, Indigenous knowledge competes for validity and is vexed by questions of racial and cultural authenticity and, therefore, struggles to be located centrally in educational systems, curricula and pedagogies. Interrogating normative western notions of what constitutes authentic or legitimate knowledge is critical to teaching Indigenous studies and embedding Indigenous knowledge. The inclusion (and exclusion) of Indigenous knowledge at the interface is central to developing curriculum that allows teachers to test and prod and create new knowledge and teaching approaches. From this perspective, we explore Indigenous Australian pre-service teachers' experiences of pedagogical relationships within the teaching habitus of Australian classrooms. Our study is engaged with the strategic transgressions of praxis. We contend that tensions that participant Indigenous Australian pre-service teachers experience mirror the broader (and unresolved) political status of Indigenous people and, thus, where and why Indigenous knowledge is strategically deployed as 'new' or 'old knowledge within Australian liberal democratic systems of curriculum and schooling. It is significant to discuss the formation and transformation of the pedagogical cultural identity of the teaching profession within which Indigenous and non-Indigenous pre-service teachers are employed.
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development