Learning Versus Education: Rethinking Learning in Anangu Schools

Learning Versus Education: Rethinking Learning in Anangu Schools Journal Article

The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education

  • Author(s): Sam Osborne
  • Published: 2013
  • Volume: 42

Abstract: In the remote schooling context, much recent media attention has been directed to issues of poor attendance, low attainment rates of minimal benchmarks in literacy and numeracy, poor retention and the virtual absence of transitions from school to work. The Australian government's recent ‘Gonski review’ (Review of Funding for Schooling – Final Report 2011) also strongly advocates the need to increase investment and effort into remote education across Australia in order to address the concerns of under-achievement, particularly of Indigenous students. Large-scale policies designed to improve access to services have caused a significant increase in services delivered from external sources, policy development at all levels of government, and tight accountability measures that affect remote communities and in turn, schools in various ways. Remote educators find themselves caught in the middle of this systemic discourse and the voices and values that exist in the remote communities where they live. Within this complex environment, the purpose of this article is to amplify Indigenous community voices and values in the discourse and by doing so, challenge ourselves as educators and educational leaders to examine the question: ‘While we're busy delivering education, is anybody learning anything?’ This article focuses on the Anangu (Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara) context of the North-West of South Australia, southern regions of the Northern Territory and into Western Australia. This region is referred to as the ‘tri-state’ region. Using a qualitative methodology, this article examines three Pitjantjatjara language oral narrative transcripts where Anangu reflect on their experiences of growing up and learning. By privileging these Anangu voices in the dialogue about learning in the remote Aboriginal community context, key themes are identified and analysed, highlighting important considerations for remote educators in understanding the values and cultural elements that inform Anangu students in their engagement with a formal education context.

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Suggested Citation
Sam Osborne, 2013, Learning Versus Education: Rethinking Learning in Anangu Schools, Volume:42, Journal Article, viewed 13 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=2959.

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