Teacher educators and Indigenous rights in a complex, multicultural, but uncertain future

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    This paper examines the work of teacher educators in nation states where mainstream education systems have been developed by colonial powers in the past. Such teacher educators work within a complex and specific set of historical circumstances that have created whole education systems that were developed over hundreds of years in distant imperial centers, overriding the needs of already present Indigenous peoples. Overlaying this challenge is a complexity of newer immigrant populations that have settled in previously colonized nations, coming from all corners of the globe, demanding that teacher educators are able to teach student teachers how to meet the needs of school students from myriad ethnic cultural backgrounds. Of central importance to this paper is the question of how teacher educators can manage the Indigenous rights challenge within a multicultural space of negotiation, while recognizing the colonial presence and legacy in their work. With the emergence of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2008), nation states have endorsed the recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples to control of how their children are to be educated. The challenge for teacher educators lies in their responses to the set of challenges facing them as they prepare the next generation of schoolteachers within complex, multicultural states. Most teacher educators in universities in countries such as Australia, having a majority non-Indigenous population, are female and come predominantly from a British or Irish ethic cultural background, have little internal awareness of the issues involved in either the Indigenous or multicultural domains, have never considered their pedagogical approach in terms of Indigenous rights, and focus predominantly on including curriculum resources about Indigenous and other culture s lifeways as a response to these challenges. This paper develops an analysis of professional development workshops conducted with teacher educators about their views and understandings of Indigenous rights within their respective cognate areas, the impact of an Indigenous rights approach on their teaching, and how they are negotiating the multicultural interface with Indigenous rights (Thaman 2013).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)82 - 93
    Number of pages12
    JournalMicronesian Educator: a journal of research and practice on education in Guam and Micronesia
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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