Bill Fogarty of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at ANU has published this article in response to a lecture given by WA MP Ben Wyatt on education for Aboriginal children in remote communities.
There are no new statements here – just a reiteration of an important refrain. If remote education is to be successful, it needs to:
- Be engaging, accessible and culturally responsive (I would add – relevant)
- have a school culture that supports and builds upon high expectations of students (I would also add ‘on teachers)
- empower, support and engage ATSI students to enhance their own capacity
- Use evidence based approaches to literacy and numeracy which are coherent and localised
- Have a profound understanding of school-community relationships and partnerships.
For a short article, there’s not much to disagree with. Unfortunately, the majority of comments highlight just how far Australians have to go before they demonstrate any understanding of remote contexts or remote Australia – which is a shame.