Speaking back to the deficit discourses

Year: 2016

Author: Hogarth, Melitta

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The immersion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students into the Western classroom in the late 1960s has made evident the stark disparity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous educational attainment. In 2008, a renewed focus on addressing and closing the gap occurred. The renewed purpose of Indigenous education policy therefore was to address the identified ‘gap’. Using the articulation of Indigenous Standpoint Theory, Indigenist Research Principles and Critical Discourse Analysis as a methodological approach to analyse the data, this paper aims to identify the implicit and explicit deficit discourses evident in policy. Analysis of some of the social constructs that inform the positioning of Indigenous students is also explored. By investigating the deficit discourses prevalent, this paper seeks to address the detrimental representations and hopes by highlighting the narrative, it will encourage critical dialogue between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and policymakers on future Indigenous education policy.