Author: Fleming, Rebecca, Southwell, Beth
Type of paper: Refereed paper
The paper argues that the history of the colonial education system in Australia has led to an intense distrust for the education system amongst Aboriginal people. The paper further argues that the education system still largely reproduces only the dominant culture in its curriculum, and a major factor in the high levels of Aboriginal students leaving school early can be linked to the cultural irrelevance of the curriculum. The paper also examines the links between the high poverty, unemployment and poor health conditions experienced in many Aboriginal communities and argues that these conditions also play a significant role in preventing Aboriginal students from completing school. The paper argues that the most successful programs implemented in schools to alleviate these problems are programs which involve the parents and Aboriginal communities. The most successful programs include, homework centres and curricula which incorporate Aboriginal perspectives in order to make learning relevant and enjoyable for students. The paper finally argues that the inclusion of Aboriginal communities and perspectives in Australian schools is not only vital to gaining educational equality for Aboriginal students, but can also play an invaluable role in the education of every Australian student.