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Exploring the mathematical confidence of Indigenous preservice teachers in a remote teacher education program

Thornton, Stephen J., Giles, Wendy, Prescott, Deborah M. and Rhodes, David (2011). Exploring the mathematical confidence of Indigenous preservice teachers in a remote teacher education program. Mathematics Education Research Journal,23(2):235-252.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 82056760xPUB44
Title Exploring the mathematical confidence of Indigenous preservice teachers in a remote teacher education program
Author Thornton, Stephen J.
Giles, Wendy
Prescott, Deborah M.
Rhodes, David
Journal Name Mathematics Education Research Journal
Publication Date 2011
Volume Number 23
Issue Number 2
ISSN 1033-2170   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-80051958099
Start Page 235
End Page 252
Total Pages 18
Place of Publication Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract This paper reports on the efficacy of an accelerated teacher education program (Growing Our Own) focused in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. The program is a joint initiative of Charles Darwin University and the Northern Territory Catholic Education Office, providing an intensive two-year program designed to educate Indigenous Teacher Assistants to full teacher status. We describe the growth in knowledge and confidence that has occurred through the program using the story of one of the students in the project, Philomena, as an evocative representation of the experiences of the participants in the program. This growth is particularly evident in one lesson that Philomena taught towards the end of the program in which she was able to challenge her previously accepted role as subservient to the non-Indigenous teacher. Our discussion highlights some key issues for improving outcomes for Indigenous children, including the potential mismatch between Western and Aboriginal ways of thinking in mathematics and developing the mathematical capacity of Indigenous teacher assistants in remote settings. We suggest that the mutual respect of the participants at various levels of Growing Our Own, the situated and purposeful nature of the learning, and the capacity of students to engage in that learning without abandoning their community responsibilities have been pivotal in enhancing educational outcomes in remote communities and in providing opportunities for Indigenous people.

Keywords Indigenous
Mathematical knowledge
DOI   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)

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