Knocking, Unsettling, Ceding
A non-Indigenous teacher’s journey towards decolonizing teaching practice in a “remote Indigenous community”
Keywords:decolonial, post-colonial, Indigenous, reflection, teacher education
This paper explores a reflexive decolonizing framework, arising from a teachers` first four years of teaching practice in an Indigenous community in the North of what is commonly known as Australia[A1]. The paper seeks to frame a connection between the already-established field of teacher self-reflection, and a need for decolonizing ways of knowing in education, to respect and recenter othered knowledge systems. Autoethnography and open-ended interviews are implemented with Indigenous elders, to explore the self-reflection that a non-Indigenous teacher must embrace to begin to decolonize their practice. Drawing on theories of whiteness (Moreton-Robinson, 2000), othering (Staszak, 2009) and the Cultural Interface in settler-Indigenous discursive spaces (Nakata, 2007), this work documents an extended process of teacher self-reflection. Reflecting on Karen Martin’s (2008) work Please Knock Before You Enter, and in response to Laenui’s Processes of Decolonisation (2000), starting points are proposed from which teachers can think deeply about their practice concerning ongoing coloniality. The epistemological underpinnings of teachers’ practice are explored as the place where decolonizing work must occur across all educational spaces.
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