Improving outcomes for Indigenous students. Successful practice

Improving outcomes for Indigenous students. Successful practice Report

What Works. The Work Program. Improving outcomes for Indigenous students

  • Author(s): Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations,
  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: National Curriculum Services Pty Ltd and the Australian Curriculum Studies Association

Abstract: The first edition of Successful practice was published in 2006, but related to work from the previous four or five years. It included mostly case study material from the What Works website and, like the case studies in general, was intended to provide a sampler, illustrating successful strategies used in a variety of settings around Australia. Those interested in getting more details could follow up by going to the website. Our hope is that teachers don’t replicate strategies exactly, but rather use them to provide direction and even inspiration for work to improve educational outcomes for Australian Indigenous students. That improvement is the sole reason for the existence of these materials. This second edition of Successful practice takes a similar approach to the first, providing glimpses of action drawn mostly from case studies prepared for the What Works website since 2006. We again make the point that these materials describe what was happening at a particular place, at a particular point in time. As such, they cannot be ‘up to date’ but they can provide useful ideas and strategies for others to consider. We also make the point that the material presented here ranges from large scale action across regions to accounts of individual classrooms. Everyone can make a difference in their own setting. Times have changed since the first edition of Successful practice. In particular, we have seen the following: • Development of more sophisticated and comprehensive approaches to partnerships between schools and their Indigenous communities. • Strategic planning receiving more emphasis generally and state and territory jurisdictions developing more explicit goals and targets. • Longer-term targets expressed in terms of ‘closing the gap’. • More encouragement for groups of schools to work together. • The greater use of Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs) for Indigenous students. • Greater focus on data-driven approaches, and the introduction of NAPLAN testing. This booklet illustrates how Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working in schools across Australia have responded to those developments. Their primary objective, though, has always been to see better educational outcomes for their Indigenous students. The work is not always easy, and we don’t want to give the impression that it is, but these are people who are committed to improvement and know what is achievable. We would like to acknowledge them again for their contribution and, as previously, thank them for their generous permission to use their own voices and tell their own stories. They are real people working in real circumstances.

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Suggested Citation
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations,, 2011, Improving outcomes for Indigenous students. Successful practice, Report, viewed 13 July 2024,

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