Community participation in Indigenous education: learning from the past, in policy and practice

Whatman, Susan L. & Duncan, Pearl (2005) Community participation in Indigenous education: learning from the past, in policy and practice. In Phillips, Jean & Lampert, Jo (Eds.) Introductory Indigenous Studies in Education: the importance of knowing. Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW, pp. 117-138.

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When a non-Indigenous academic writes a chapter on ‘Indigenous Education’, it is always done with some trepidation. How can one who is a product of a ‘western’ education system, that has historically and contemporarily excluded Indigenous knowledge from its centre, be considered ‘knowledgeable’ enough to write about this? I was actually about 7 years into an eight year journey of higher degree research and writing before I was made aware by my Indigenous colleagues of a fundamental flaw in my study into Torres Strait Islander health education. I was quite prepared to canvass the theoretical opinions of other authors in my reflections upon the impact of racism on Indigenous education, yet quite unable to jump in, name and describe racism myself. The barrier became more obvious – how can you name and describe the impact of racism upon Indigenous people in education when you are a participant in the process? To try to overcome my limitations on this topic, and to avoid controlling and ‘patrolling’ (Phillips, 2003, p. 3) what a non-Indigenous academic thinks is valid and useful knowledge, I wanted to bring into active voice someone who has been at the forefront of the struggle for community participation in Indigenous education – the highly esteemed Aboriginal educator Pearl Duncan. She will narrate her own experiences and decision-making roles in community participation and policy development specifically in Indigenous education, and education more broadly. This also promotes the ‘credentialling [of] the expertise of Aboriginal community educators (Hart, 2003, p. 13) who often remain unrecognised by academia.

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ID Code: 6952
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author . Author contact details :
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Indigenous education, Aboriginal education, Torres Strait Islander education, community participation
ISBN: 9780733972669
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Pearson Education Australia
Deposited On: 03 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:39

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