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Accountability and Aboriginal education : an exploration of educators’ experiences Clothier, Tamara Leigh

Abstract

The government mandates accountability mechanisms, such as standardized testing, to ensure educational quality; however, more research is needed to determine how such measures affect educational equality. In Canada, differential achievement outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students has stimulated a public discourse on the need for educational change. This study investigates how accountability policies mandated by the British Columbia government affect elementary educators who have worked in schools with high Aboriginal students populations. Through narrative inquiry, the study explored how such policies influence classroom curriculum, practices and pedagogy; moreover, it explored how mandates from controlling forces shape educators’ professional identity. Poetic transcription was employed; in which participants’ words were used to create poetic compositions reflective of their experiences. This analysis technique provides the reader with a vast and rich exposure to the study data, which is intended to raise awareness of how such policies influence teachers’ and students’ lives. Through this process, educators’ experiences with competing job demands, limited professional autonomy, narrowed curriculum, and surveillance are shared; as well as, the marginalization of Aboriginal students within the current educational system. Educators express and understand these issues by constructing two chief guiding narratives that of the attentive teacher and the objective professional. These competing narratives bring about frustrations and create resistance to such accountability mechanisms and a demand for reform.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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