Professional pathways of Aboriginal early childhood teachers: Intersections of community, indigeneity, and complexity

Alma Fleet*, Kerrie Wechmann, Ryan Whitworth

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Little information is available about the employment trajectories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples pursuing university professional qualifications. This article describes a context in which cultural space, issues of identity, pragmatics of employment, family and community and a bureaucratic regulatory environment intersect to create scenarios that are multi-facetted and layered in complexity. As has been demonstrated clearly in other arenas (Richardson & Watt, 2006), the move towards professional teacher education qualification is not linear or straightforward. To add to the knowledge base in this area, the focus in this study is on university graduates of a teacher education degree targeting people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. This landscape of professional pathways offers material for educators and policy-makers to consider in the drive to 'close the gap' in Indigenous educational opportunity in Australia and in related circumstances elsewhere. Note that terms such as 'Aboriginal' and 'Indigenous peoples' are used as general signifiers and may not be the group terms favoured by the people to whom they refer, but have been accepted as place-holders for complex identifications of lineage and personal identification. Aboriginal peoples should also be aware that this paper may refer to people who are no longer with us.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)128-143
    Number of pages16
    JournalAustralian Journal of Teacher Education
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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