Closing the pedagogical gap: revisiting pedagogy in remote Aboriginal schools through a Culturally Responsive lens

Closing the pedagogical gap: revisiting pedagogy in remote Aboriginal schools through a Culturally Responsive lens Conference Paper

AARE 2018: Education Research Matters: Impact and Engagement

  • Author(s): Osborne, Sam
  • Published: 2018

Abstract: Education outcomes in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander schools remain well below the rest of Australia against current attainment measures. Recent policy focus and investment in pedagogical approaches has largely been limited to funding consultants to deliver Direct Instruction (DI), as well as Explicit Instruction (EI), a slight variation on the broader theme. This almost singular focus on English language instruction and the utilisation of non-local teachers to deliver this program extends a significant period of underinvestment in workforce development for local employees, local languages and the incorporation of local communities and knowledges within 'official knowledge' (curriculum). In 2017, a Commonwealth government review of Indigenous Education raised concerns about a lack of evidence for improved outcomes through current investments into pedagogy but fell short of proposing and resourcing an alternative approach to pedagogy in remote schools. The value of explicit instruction within a broader curriculum focus than DI currently offers is suggested but articulation of an alternative is needed. Direct Instruction has failed to Close the Gap on the Commonwealth Government’s national measures of school attendance and the acquisition of minimal benchmarks in standardised testing of English language literacy and numeracy (NAPLaN). Adopting a Culturally Responsive Pedagogies (CRP) lens, the need for national investment in local educators, local languages and a far broader, well-organised approach to curriculum and pedagogy is argued. This has implications for local and non-local teacher preparation programs, remote education pedagogical investment models, and the development of more appropriate and instructive measures of success in remote education contexts. This paper draws on current research projects including an ARC project working towards the articulation of an Australian Culturally Responsive Pedagogies approach, and research that documents the aspirations of remote Aboriginal communities and students for informing education design and strategic planning.

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Suggested Citation
Osborne, Sam, 2018, Closing the pedagogical gap: revisiting pedagogy in remote Aboriginal schools through a Culturally Responsive lens, Conference Paper, viewed 07 December 2021, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=15782.

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