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Explore And Describe At Least 3 Key Issues That Affect Educational Outcomes For Indigenous Australians.

1788 words - 8 pages

The curriculum in Australian schools is a highly contentious and political issue. For remote indigenous communities this is even more so. School curriculums in Australia are western culturally based and thus this effects the learning capabilities of indigenous students in remote communities. “Most indigenous Australians living in the Northern Territory want their children to go to school and get an education. They also want their children to learn the ways of their ancestors, to be strong in the knowledge of their indigenous laws and beliefs.”(Linkson, M. 1999, pp. 41-48) School curriculums are for the majority of students, which in Australia is mainly western. The cultural bias in our school curriculums is inextricably linked to the progress of the western civilization and thus rarely takes into account any other cultures. Students of indigenous background often have to cross between cultural confines of school and home. “The role of schools reflect embedded cultural attitudes, expectations and representations about indigenous people.” (Tess Lea, Aggie Wegner, Eva McRae-Williams, Richard Chenhall & Catherine Holmes 2011, pp 265-280) Many remote schools curriculums are principally prejudiced to western cultures and thus have a negative impact on the indigenous students, and thus will consequently affects their level of academic achievement.

Indigenous Australians students cannot possibly learn a non-indigenous curriculum without being aggravated by the western culture taught within. “From the day they begin their formal schooling, Aboriginal children have to confront another world. This is a world in which their own values and culture are denied, their language and communication strategies are challenged and their identity and self-confidence are threatened.”(Reynolds, 2002, p. 18) There is an apparent need to change the western style curriculum concept to addressed indigenous understandings and cultures for remote indigenous communities to achieve successful educational outcomes. “Over 30% of students attending schools in the Northern Territory are indigenous Australians. A great majority of those are living in indigenous communities and speak first languages other than English”. (Linkson, M. 1999, pp. 41-48) Indigenous students in remote communities present a number of challenges for teachers as students often have English as a second or even third language, thus teaching a curriculum that is biased to western culture and language would further exacerbate the gap between learning and achievement.
Remote indigenous communities are often some distance away from any mainstream schooling. Communities can be isolated by the rains and flooded rivers for up to 5 months, this geographical aspect affects the quality and consistency of educational services available. Remoteness also increases the cost involved in getting educational infrastructure to these communities, making education and training low priority for communities without high levels of...

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