Teacher Professional Change at the Cultural Interface: A Critical Dialogic Narrative Inquiry into a Remote School Teacher’s Journey to Establish a Relational Pedagogy
This is a co-constructed narrative between both Marie, an early career teacher, Stephen an artist and colleague in the school’s creative arts faculty and Colin, an Aboriginal teacher and researcher. They met throughout 2012 and discussed issues that related to their discursive interactions that occurred in this small rural school between its teachers and the town’s largely Aboriginal community. These discussions were conducted within the context, of Marie’s experiences as a new scheme teacher , Stephen’s reflexive observations as a teacher of many years’ experience and Colin, who had worked with the school on various curriculum projects. These narratives give witness to their experiences, their failures and successes and of the discursive concerns seen to affect school student success and community relationships. These narratives connect with the town’s history of race relations and the aspirations and concerns of Aboriginal people living in this community. This paper, which focuses on Marie’s efforts to engage her Year 8 music students in the new and ‘alien’ environment is juxtaposed with Stephen’s, whose commentary, based on proximity and practice, gives a counter insight into the world of teaching. This paper is a three-way critical reflection on the place of contested and conflicted relationships between teachers and students, the impact of teachers’ limited appreciation of the histories of this community and its impact on their lives.
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