Teaching at the cultural interface

establishing a responsive classroom through the authentic engagement of a teacher, Aboriginal students and parents

Kevin Lowe, Helen Bub-Connor

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference paper


    This presentation is a co-constructed dialogue between Helen, a teacher, who until recently, was a new scheme secondary teacher appointed to a remote school in western NSW, and Kevin, a teacher, curriculum manager and post graduate researcher. During 2012 they met regularly to discuss Helen’s professional and personal journey as a teacher, and her endeavours to reach out to students and parents with a view to affect an authentic change in the classroom experiences of students in her care. At its core are reflections on, Aboriginal Education; the provision of quality educational experiences to all students; efforts to ‘know’ and build connections into the community; and views on teacher capacity within such a context. During her 3 years, Helen explored ways to connect with the community so as to deepen the investment that she felt she could make in her students’ learning, while also enriching her own family’s life experiences. Helen, like all other colleagues, was asked to respond to the demands of delivering educational programs that would ‘close the gap’ – a space she thought of as an educational chasm, that would ever widening if there wasn’t a major intervention. It was only later that she came to realise was that her need to establish a meaningful educational relationship with students and parents was paralleled by a largely hidden, but even greater need on their part for the same thing. Through story, reflection and evaluation, this presentation demonstrates how, along the way, Helen learnt the meaning of building teacher capacity; what it doesn’t take to connect with community, and the meaning of ‘getting these kids to learn.’
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalJoint AARE-NZARE 2014 Conference
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventThe Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and New Zealand Association for Research in Education Conference - Brisbane
    Duration: 30 Nov 20144 Dec 2014

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