Relationships are key: building intercultural capabilities for Indigenous postgraduate coursework students and their teachers [final report of the project Keeping on track: teacher leaders for Indigenous postgraduate coursework students]

Nobin, Ken, Frawley, Jack, Jackson, Trina, McGinty, Sue, Watkin-Lui, Felecia, and White, Nereda (2013) Relationships are key: building intercultural capabilities for Indigenous postgraduate coursework students and their teachers [final report of the project Keeping on track: teacher leaders for Indigenous postgraduate coursework students]. External Commissioned Report. Office for Learning and Teaching, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

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Abstract

Relationships are key is the final report of the project Keeping on track: teacher leaders for Indigenous postgraduate coursework students. The project focused on disciplinary and cross-disciplinary leadership to enhance learning and teaching through leadership capacity-building in discipline structures, communities of practice and cross-disciplinary networks, with an emphasis on strengthening teacher leader capabilities of lecturers involved in the teaching of Indigenous postgraduate coursework students.

The overall purpose of Keeping on Track was to clearly delineate and to improve teacher leadership practices across higher education institutions in Australia serving Indigenous postgraduate coursework students, as differentiated from practices in supervision of postgraduate research students. Marshall (2008) states that studies that focus on the 'how' of development of leadership capability in learning and teaching are limited. It is the 'how' of teacher leadership which this project addressed, through the design and development of a Blueprint for Intercultural Capabilities informed by the experiences of Indigenous postgraduate course work students and their teachers.

The Keeping on Track project aimed to answer three research questions focused on the Indigenous postgraduate coursework experience by collecting and analysing the teaching an d learning experiences of Indigenous students and their teachers in postgraduate coursework programs. Data were collected through an online survey and the establishment and operation of a University Community of Practice (UCoP) at participating universities, through which focus group discussions and interviews were held. Project end aims were to consider the implications of the data collected, and make recommendations for strengthening teacher leadership capabilities in the teaching and learning of Indigenous postgraduate students through the development of a teacher leadership capabilities framework which would be developed, trialled and evaluated.

Four findings became clear towards the end of the project:

1. the value of UCoP in forming an intercultural space in which the process of teaching and learning is the focus;

2. that intercultural capabilities are required by both teachers and students to engage fully with the cultural interface of teaching and learning;

3. that this requires intercultural sensitivity (Bennett, 2004); and,

4. that relationships are key to intercultural exchanges and building intercultural sensitivity.

As such, there is no recommendation for a teacher leadership framework, but rather recommendation s for encouraging intercultural development through student/teacher encounters facilitated through the establishment of UCoPs . These are:

1. where UCoPs aren't established, that universities through their Learning and Teaching Centres (or equivalent departments), facilitate the development of one in order to encourage student/teacher encounters; and,

2. that the Blueprint for Intercultural Capabilities forms the basis for the functioning of UCoPs.

Item ID: 30330
Item Type: Report (External Commissioned Report)
ISBN: 978-1-921916-27-4
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With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, and where otherwise noted, all material presented in this document is provided under Creative Commons Attribution - ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/).

Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2016 00:02
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9304 School/Institution > 930403 School/Institution Policies and Development @ 20%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9304 School/Institution > 930401 Management and Leadership of Schools/Institutions @ 20%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939901 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 60%
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