Transforming Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Education


Five panelists (panelists-Lester-Irabinna Rigney, Peter Freebody, Tammy Anderson, James Ladwig, Nerida Blair and moderators- Bob Morgan and Rob Tierney) explore issues involved in arguably the most crucial issue facing Australian education—transforming Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Education. The panelists argue for bridging to the world, lives, languages and communities of Australian Aboriginals and repositioning curriculum, teaching practices, assessments and learning expectations.  The panelists propose shifts in the premises, goals, and pursuits of Aboriginal education drawing upon their engagements with these communities, research on diversity, language and literacy, epistemologies and shifts in teachers’ beliefs, dispositions and practices.

Extended Abstract

The issues explored by the panelists involve two videos: the first video involves presentations by the five panelists; the second includes a conversation among the panelists together with the moderators about impediments and needed new directions. The following references are recommended as supporting the comments raised by the panelists.

Rigney, L-I, (2021) Aboriginal child as knowledge producer:  Bringing into dialogue Indigenist epistemologies and culturally responsive pedagogies for schooling, In  Hokowhitu, B., Moreton-Robinson, A., Tuhiwai-Smith, L., Larkin, S., & Andersen, C. (Eds.). (2020). Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies (1st ed.). Routledge.

Freebody, P. (2019) Being literate in ‘Australian’: The future can. In J. Rennie & H. Harper (Eds., 2019) Afterword to Literacy education and Indigenous Australians: Theory, research and Practice, (pp. 313-332). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Nature.

Morgan, A-M., Reid, N. & Freebody, P. (in press). Literacy and linguistic diversity in Australia. To appear in Verhoeven, L., & Pugh, K., & Perfetti, C. (Eds.) Cross-linguistic perspectives on literacy education. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Bishop, R., Ladwig, J., Berryman, M. (2014) The Centrality of Relationships for Pedagogy: The Whanaungatanga Thesis, American Educational Research Journal, 51 184-214 (2014) 

Blair, N. (2015). Privileging Australian Indigenous Knowledge. Sweet Potatoes, Spiders, Waterlilys and Brickwalls. Common Ground Publishing LLC..

Morgan, R. V. (2018) Beyond the guest paradigm: Eurocentric education and aboriginal peoples in NSW. In E. McKinley & L. Smith (Eds.), Handbook of Indigenous Education. Singapore: Springer 

Tierney, R. J. & Morgan, R. V. (2022) The Indigenous Imaginary and Tertiary Institutions.  In G. Misiaszek & A. Abdi (Ed.) Palgrave Handbook on Critical Theories of Education. New York: Palgrave/Macmillan/Springer.

Rennie, J. & Harper, H.  (Eds., 2019) Literacy education and Indigenous Australians: Theory, research and Practice. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Nature.

Supporting Videos

Transforming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Education: Panel

Transforming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Education: Panel Discussion

Supporting Images

Transforming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Education: Image Example


Supporting Documents