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Indigenous education

Analysis and Comment (18)

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott with kindergarden kids at Yirrkala in the Northern Territory. Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in the NT have the nation’s lowest retention rate, so it’s time to try more creative ways to fix that. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott with kindergarden kids at Yirrkala in the Northern Territory. Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in the NT have the nation’s lowest retention rate, so it’s time to try more creative ways to fix that. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Keeping Indigenous teens in school by reinventing the lessons

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North-East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
Leader of the pack: Djalu Gurruwiwi of the Galpu clan leads younger performers at the 2013 Garma Festival in Arnhem Land. Leader of the pack: Djalu Gurruwiwi of the Galpu clan leads younger performers at the 2013 Garma Festival in Arnhem Land. AAP Image/Youthu Yindi Foundation

Listen to your elders: inviting Aboriginal parents back to school

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
Tony Abbott keeps appointing businessmen like Andrew Forrest, who have limited expertise in analysing evidence and developing social policy, to advise the government. Tony Abbott keeps appointing businessmen like Andrew Forrest, who have limited expertise in analysing evidence and developing social policy, to advise the government. AAP/Nikki Short

Forrest report ignores what works and why in Indigenous policy

The Creating Parity report on Indigenous employment and welfare, released last week by mining magnate Andrew Forrest, is in much the same vein as Tony Shepherd’s recent Commission of Audit. Forrest and…
No one-size-fits-all approach will solve Indigenous literacy problems. No one-size-fits-all approach will solve Indigenous literacy problems. AAP

Indigenous literacy needs more than ‘sounding out’ words

Closing the gap in Indigenous literacy is a problem without a simple solution. But it can be done. As I’ve argued previously, we need to give up the search for a one-size-fits-all approach and adopt a…
With mentoring and industry traineeships, young Indigenous people are making their way into steady employment. With mentoring and industry traineeships, young Indigenous people are making their way into steady employment. WorkingStart!

Finding that first job is hard, and cultural hurdles make it extra hard

A few years ago in a quiet corner of Sydney’s Redfern Community Centre, I interviewed a young Aboriginal man, Scott, about his life for a research project. Like many of his contemporaries he grew up in…
Are Australian policymakers trapped in a monolingual mindset? Are Australian policymakers trapped in a monolingual mindset? Katie Tegtmeyer

Muting Indigenous language support only widens the gap

Indigenous languages are under attack yet again. The federal budget, released on May 13, includes a substantial reduction of A$9.5 million over four years for the Indigenous Languages Support Programme…
Ethnic and Indigenous students report racism in Aussie schools, but who are the perpetrators? Ethnic and Indigenous students report racism in Aussie schools, but who are the perpetrators? Shutterstock

Indigenous students skipping school to avoid bullying and racism

High-profile cases of racial discrimination on the sporting field and on public transport capture the media’s attention, but we hear less about racism in our schools. One survey of secondary students across…
Efforts to improve Indigenous students' academic results aren’t working. Efforts to improve Indigenous students' academic results aren’t working. AAP

Indigenous education results show need for needs-based funding

Results from the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) show that the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students has remained the same for the last decade. PISA 2012: How Australia…
Tony Abbott is looking for simple solutions to complex problems in Indigenous education. Tony Abbott is looking for simple solutions to complex problems in Indigenous education. AAP/Alan Porritt

Closing the gap on Indigenous literacy requires more than increased attendance

The sixth annual update on Closing the Gap provides an unsurprising picture of slow progress on addressing issues of Indigenous disadvantage. The update presents a mixed bag of small improvements in life…
We should acknowledge that the mainstream system of education doesn’t always know what is best for Aboriginal people. We should acknowledge that the mainstream system of education doesn’t always know what is best for Aboriginal people. AAP/Neda Vanovac

Punishing truancy is not the answer in Indigenous communities

Indigenous education has been prioritised by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the states at the recent COAG meeting. The focus is on truancy, with a school attendance target of 90-100%. “Punitive” measures…
Can language nests revive endangered Indigenous languages? Can language nests revive endangered Indigenous languages? AAP/Tara Ravens

Language nests: a way to revive Indigenous languages at risk

More than 90% of Australia’s Indigenous languages are critically endangered and two-thirds of those languages spoken a hundred years ago are now dormant. The seeds of the current situation were sown long…
Hate to burst your bubble but there’s a lot more left to do in reforming early childhood education. Hate to burst your bubble but there’s a lot more left to do in reforming early childhood education. Child image from www.shutterstock.com

Fragile progress in early childhood education could be undone

The latest Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reform council report released this week showing small improvement in the quality of Australia’s early childhood education comes as federal and state…
Mathematics and Aussie Rules have quite a lot in common, which should be used when considering curricula for Indigenous – and non-Indigenous – students. Mathematics and Aussie Rules have quite a lot in common, which should be used when considering curricula for Indigenous – and non-Indigenous – students. AAP

It’s time we draft Aussie Rules to tackle Indigenous mathematics

When discussing how to embed Indigenous Australian knowledge and practices into the Australian national curriculum effectively - particularly the maths curriculum - there’s no better place to start than…
For all its faults, NAPLAN is helping Indigenous education. For all its faults, NAPLAN is helping Indigenous education. AAP Image/Melanie Foster

Closing the gap: NAPLAN will help improve Indigenous education

Federal education minister Peter Garrett confirmed late last week that education ministers from around the country had agreed to lift national efforts to improve Indigenous education results. Results from…
An Indigenous MP in Western Australia has highlighted the tensions in Indigenous education around culture and. An Indigenous MP in Western Australia has highlighted the tensions in Indigenous education around culture and. Indigenous image from www.shutterstock.com

Learning for the western world? The Indigenous education dilemma

Last week the Western Australian Indigenous Labor MP, Ben Wyatt, told a conference in Perth that Aboriginal children in remote communities need a “full Western education”. Wyatt went on to say that the…
The government can’t wait any longer, it needs to make changes now to improve Indigenous education. The government can’t wait any longer, it needs to make changes now to improve Indigenous education. Aboriginal Art image www.shutterstock.com

Can Indigenous education afford to wait for a real response to Gonski?

In all the discussion, media releases, press conferences and TV coverage of this week’s government response to the Gonski review, it was fascinating that the issue of Indigenous education rated such little…
A recent report into Indigenous education that points the finger at schools and teachers missed the point. A recent report into Indigenous education that points the finger at schools and teachers missed the point. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Indigenous education report misses the big picture

Any work that shines a spotlight on the appalling state of education for Indigenous Australians is to be welcomed. And so Helen and Mark Hughes are to be commended for their latest effort, a report called…

Research and News (3)

Research Briefs (1)