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ERIC Number: ED443613
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Indigenous Rights and Tertiary Education in Australia.
Gale, Peter
This paper examines the discourse on Aboriginal higher education in Australia from the 1960s through the 1990s through an analysis of educational reports and government policy documents on tertiary education. Early in this period, the focus was on education as "welfare," but the emphasis shifted towards equity in higher education policy during the late 1980s and early 1990s. During this latter period, Aboriginal people were considered educationally disadvantaged, and education was seen as a means of providing equal opportunity for all and diminishing indicators of social inequalities. Another competing viewpoint represents Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians as an Indigenous population with Indigenous rights to self-determination and control of its own education. The way in which Indigenous Australians are represented shapes the discussion and funding of Indigenous education. For example, when Indigenous Australians were represented as disadvantaged, improvement in tertiary education was evaluated in terms of the number of Aboriginal students enrolled and the number of "successful" graduates. There was an increase in Aboriginal participation in tertiary education between 1985 and 1996, but assimilationist and ethnocentric institutional structures did not change to increase Aboriginal participation in curriculum development, research, and teaching. Since 1998, a renewed emphasis on a welfare approach to Aboriginal education has been accompanied by a reallocation of resources away from tertiary education and greater emphasis on basic literacy. The recognition and inclusion of Indigenous rights in educational policy depends upon a new phase of politics. (Contains 60 references.) (TD)
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Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education (Adelaide, Australia, November 29-December 3, 1998).