A Social Justice View of Educators’ Conceptions of Aboriginal Children Starting School
This chapter addresses pedagogies of educational transitions by offering a critical exploration of the ways in which Aboriginal children are positioned by educators’ pedagogical beliefs in the context of their transition to primary school settings in urban communities. The chapter explores the pedagogical principles that educators draw on when they consider Aboriginal children’s strengths and needs during their transition from prior-to-school to school settings. These principles are examined for the ways in which they might construct and reconstruct Aboriginal children in educational settings. Particular pedagogical stances are interpreted through a social justice lens that views social justice as multifaceted, contingent and relational. Specific notions of all children as individuals with diverse needs and strengths are discussed as problematic in two ways: first, as they shape what educators can ‘know’ about Aboriginal children and second, for the rationale they provide for educators to engage (or not) in practices and programmes that support transition to school for Aboriginal children and families.
KeywordsSocial Justice Aboriginal People Early Childhood Educator Educational Setting Torres Strait Islander
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