Culturally responsive relationships focused pedagogies: The key to quality teaching and creating quality learning environments

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Handbook of Research on Promoting Cross-Cultural Competence and Social Justice in Teacher Education, 2016, pp. 1 - 31
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© 2017, IGI Global. This chapter examines the importance of culturally responsive relationships-focused pedagogical approaches in engaging Aboriginal students in their learning and the significance of this to improving their educational outcomes. Significantly, the themes and issues raised in this chapter reflect much of the international literature on Indigenous, minority and marginalised students. The following enablers are necessary when implementing culturally responsive relationships focused pedagogies: Engaging with Aboriginal families and community members; Harnessing Aboriginal students' backgrounds, lived experiences and interests as classroom resources; Implementing innovative place-based curriculum approaches, and Exploring holistic teacher professional learning opportunities. The combination of these factors creates quality learning environments as places of belonging and socio-cultural support underpinned by mobilising Aboriginal family and community social and cultural capital in the educational process. Once schools and teachers realise the potential of this approach, conditions are created to improve the academic, social and cultural outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
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