Teacher ethics: the link between quality teaching and multi-ethnic and multiracial education

Boon, Helen J., and Lewthwaite, Brian E. (2016) Teacher ethics: the link between quality teaching and multi-ethnic and multiracial education. Athens Journal of Education, 3 (4). pp. 331-344.

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Many current economic and social challenges lead to waves of migrating people. The countries where migrants seek refuge can be ethnically homogeneous and monolingual such as Greece, or more frequently, ethnically diverse with local Indigenous populations which have been subjugated and marginalized, such as the US or Australia. In either context, a significant corollary of migration is the absorption of children into the local educational system. Migrant children, much like the local Indigenous marginalized children of the host countries, have language barriers and different customs from those of the host country. Cultural mismatches between the culture of the child and that of its teacher have been empirically shown to result in a range of negative outcomes for the child, including behavioural infractions, low academic outcomes and dropping out of school. This research illustrates findings from the second phase of an extended study. The study aim was to identify what constitutes culturally responsive pedagogy in Australia to support the needs of Indigenous Australian students. Indigenous Australian students, like their counterparts in New Zealand and North America, have the lowest academic attainment of any students in Australia. Through qualitative interviews with Indigenous parents, teachers and students, we identified a range of teacher behaviours deemed by Indigenous people to be indicators of teacher quality as indicated by culturally responsive pedagogy. From these we constructed a teacher survey which was piloted with two waves of practicing teachers. Latent Trait Analyses using the Rasch Model validated the survey and its underlying factors. Findings showed that teachers' ethic of care strongly predicted their pedagogical expertise. Implications of the research include redefining quality teaching as a pedagogy based on strong ethical standards driven by a vocational disposition which seek to benefit all students including those from ethnically diverse groups such as Indigenous students, refugees and recent migrants.

Item ID: 45024
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2241-7958
Keywords: culturally responsive pedagogy, indigenous students, latent trait analysis, rasch model, refugees
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Also presented at the Athens Institute of Education and Research 18th Annual Conference on Education, 16-19 May, 2016, Athens, Greece.

Athens Journal of Education is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Linkage Grant LP130100420 2013–2016
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2016 03:19
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390401 Comparative and cross-cultural education @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development @ 100%
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