Closing the educational gap for Aboriginal primary students in low density schools?: A multi-method longitudinal analysis elucidating impact of inclusive practices

Year: 2008

Author: O'Rourke, Virginia, Craven, Rhonda, Yeung, Alexander, Munns, Geoff

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Based on recent research, Aboriginal students still remain the most educationally disadvantaged of all Australian students. Closing the gap between Aboriginal students' achievement & their non-Aboriginal peers is a matter of national urgency. Culturally inclusive pedagogy is widely assumed to improve Aboriginal students' educational achievement and success but its actual impact remains untested. This research seeks to capitalise on cutting-edge interdisciplinary theory and research and an innovative multi-method & robust longitudinal design to elucidate the impact of specific facets of culturally inclusive pedagogy on Aboriginal students' educational outcomes and well-being in low density schools where most Aboriginal students experience schooling. This will result in a change in the current educational climate whereby those inclusive practices informed by evidenced based pedagogy will enable the strengthening of teaching and learning for Aboriginal students, contributing to closing the gap, and enabling Aboriginal students an education that provides the opportunity to promote sustainable futures. The outcomes of this research have the potential to 'break the cycle' of underachievement by generating new solutions to strengthen classroom & schooling practice of salience to Aboriginal children; increase Aboriginal student engagement in schooling; & build capacity at community, school, classroom, & individual levels.