Socialization, Land, and Citizenship Among Aboriginal Australians: Reconciling Indigenous and Western Forms of Education

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Culturally appropriate education for people of Indigenous descent is not a privilege; it is a fundamental right. Such an education is also a powerful resource for all educators and all cultures. This book explores Indigenous Australian education, particularly over the last thirty years. The major objective is to examine issues of education and pedagogy and to suggest forms of reconciliation between the dominant Western education and Indigenous forms of education. The work is grounded in an ethnographic case study and wide-ranging interaction and consultation with Indigenous Australians. The provision of the most appropriate education for Indigenous students is extraordinarily complex and presents an enormous challenge to educators, in Australia and elsewhere. The implications are profound; continued ignorance and arrogance from the dominant cultures will lead to even greater resentment, social alienation, poverty and divisiveness. The book explores these issues and concerns in both the broad historical, and more particular localized sense, each informing the other.


“How are we to understand the widespread failure of educational provision for Indigenous people? Is educational policy misguided in its basic assumptions about Indigenous education? Can community control and Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy redress these failures, and, indeed, enrich the wider society? These are crucial questions in the education of First Nations people the world over. They are the central issues addressed in the author’s meticulous and perceptive study ... From this valuable historical account, the book derives insights and recommendations which offer positive directions for the future, and which will be of enormous benefit to educators everywhere.” – (from the Commendatory Preface) Rob Gilbert, Professor, School of Education, James Cook University, Australia

“ ... this work will make a major contribution to the body of literature on the history and current practice of education for Aboriginal students. The explicit description of the conditions and the regime that controlled Aboriginal people over the years is essential reading ...especially those involved in education and social service provision.” – Associate Professor Gary Partington, Director, Centre for Indigenous Australian Knowledges, Kurongkurl Katitjin, Edith Cowan University

“The key findings ... are well-written, well-developed and valuable ... the themes and accompanying details are accessible, the messages will be of benefit to social educators. In particular, the detail provided on cultural expectations and consequently appropriate and inappropriate classroom practices is very valuable.” – Dr. Brian Hoepper, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology

Table of Contents

Preface by Professor Rob Gilbert
Learning About Socialisation in the Indigenous World: The Wangaaypuwan and Wiradjuri
Transforming the ‘Natives: Background to the Case Study”
Researching Education and Indigenous Australians
Examining Culture Contact: Colonialism and Resistance
From ‘Dying Pillow’ to Assimilation: Educational Implications
Educating for Self-Management, The 1960s to the 2000s
Aboriginal Education in New South Wales: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Education for the Indigenous Community
Education for Integration and Self-Management
Secondary Schooling: Towards a More Effective Pedagogy
Towards Reconciliation: Pedagogy and Citizenship
Appendices, 1,2,3,4

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