Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Indigenous Education cont..

I spoke to a colleague about this issue (one of the successful teachers at the school motivating indigenous and low performing/high aptitude students) and he raised (surprise.. surprise) that the most significant factor was the contact he had with parents. It's true too, he has a joke with parents and doesn't hold back if he thinks a student is going in the wrong direction - it works for him.

His main criticism is related to parents saying one thing and doing another - the support of students had to be real as the lure of government money and money from working provided a real alternative to completing school. As a parent it is so important to do what is promised in the way of student support.

A situation today raised another pertinent factor - the need to maintain high expectations. A request to drop to an easier class via the AEIO was turned around with a reminder that assistance was available (and had been organised at the start of the year) but was not being used. The student walked away happy being able to discuss their concerns, negotiate a better situation and we maintain a student university bound. The downside is that I find these type of discussions rather time consuming, taxing and draining.

The final factor to raise today is the common avoidance of indigenous students to conflict. I had to double check with the AEIO afterwards to ensure that this wasn't one of the cases where student says yes and means no. He assured me that this was not the case and we can verify this when the student comes to the arranged tutoring.

All in all not a bad day..

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