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ERIC Number: ED121903
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Walkabout Gene.
Epstein, Charlotte
Educational failures in the United States are attributed to family problems, low I.Q. and poverty. In Australia, the ancient behavior of walkabout, where early Australians leave their camps at certain seasons of the year to look for food, is given as the reason for believing that Aborigines are uneducable and unemployable. The explanation works for both education and work in the following manner: Aborigines stay in school or at a job for a short period of time before they are compelled to go walkabout. As such, they cannot be relied upon to complete a job or maintain a working situation. Whites believe that walkabout is not only a traditional behavior, but also genetically determined. In a school situation, a teacher who believes this would tend to concentrate her teaching energies on children not subject to this genetic drive, a factor that affects the achievement of Aboriginal pupils. The conceptions among whites of what Aborigines are 'really' like varies greatly in some details, though the general stereotype involves the picture of a lazy, dull-witted primitive whose claim to uniqueness also genetically circumscribes him -- the compulsion to go walkabout. A lack of knowledge about the Aborigines, along with misconceptions, contribute to the psychological distance between groups, the lack of intergroup education, and the lack of interest in shool integration. Comparisons between the Australian situation and the U.S. are made throughout the paper. (Author/AM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia