Negotiating the Dominant Discourses of Explicit Instruction and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in the Far North Queensland Context:A Teacher’s Journey
AbstractThis study took place on a remote Torres Strait (TS) island in Far North Queensland (FNQ). It focused on my teaching journey in a grade 6/7 classroom. Through an Action Research (AR) methodology the study documents my efforts to navigate and respond to two teaching models – Explicit Instruction (EI) and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP), both of which inform policy statements in the region. As well, this study highlights the tensions that arose as a result of navigating this space. Using a reflective journal, informal student dialogue sessions, yarning circles, student work samples and teacher observations, I endeavoured to adjust my practice to determine how best to meet my learners’ needs, preferences and learning styles. Through on-going critical reflective practice, data collection and analysis my teaching practice underwent transformation. In addition to the critical reflective practice of my own teaching, I frequently engaged with other work colleagues, the aim of which was to both improve and transform my teaching to better serve the needs of my learners, for my overriding intention throughout this journey was not to simply accept, without question, what I was being mandated to teach, but rather to question by truly listening and responding to my students’ voices (Hattie, 2012). The findings of this study strongly suggest that practitioners cannot blindly forge ahead with the EI model, but rather this model must be adjusted if practitioners are to truly consider their students from a culturally responsive viewpoint.
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