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Attitudinal change for preservice teachers: Creating learning environments to address non-Indigenous tertiary students' beliefs and misconceptions about Indigenous people

Max Lenoy
School of Education, James Cook University, Queensland
Terry Ngarritjan-Kessaris
Kurongkurl Katitjin School of Indigenous Studies, Edith Cowan University
The purpose of this paper is to examine the strategies employed in a compulsory unit for preservice teachers by targeting embedded perceptions preservice teachers have about Indigenous people. The unit aims to provide students with teaching and communication tools in order to effectively understand, engage and communicate with Indigenous students and parents. In addition, students are exposed to the realities of Indigenous people in past and present Australian society. Each student was required to examine their personal experiences, attitudes and beliefs so as to reflect on their own values rather than focus on changing the behaviour and values of Indigenous students. Staff of the unit employed various activities to draw out personal values, while establishing a collaborative learning environment with students. The active participation of students was encouraged and different tools were used to gather feedback throughout the semester. Although the teaching and learning timeframe was limited, the authors believe that outcomes provided a clear indication of attitudinal change in many of the students. Reflections on ways to improve and extend on the unit will also be discussed.
Please cite as: Lenoy, M. and Ngarritjan-Kessaris, T. (2003). Attitudinal change for preservice teachers: Creating learning environments to address non-Indigenous tertiary students' beliefs and misconceptions about Indigenous people. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/lenoy-abs.html


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Last revision: 15 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/lenoy-abs.html