Conference Proceedings - ACER Research Repository

 
Conference Proceedings - ACER Research Repository
Conference
Proceedings
Conference Proceedings - ACER Research Repository
Conference Proceedings - ACER Research Repository
Contents
  Forewordv
  Keynote papers
   Professor Jeannie Herbert                                                                                       3
  	
   Educational Success: A sustainable outcome for all Indigenous students when teachers understand where
   the learning journey begins
           Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney                                                                        6
           Creating Indigenous Classrooms of Tomorrow Today: What children will need and know to create it?
   Professor Jonathon Carapetis and Professor Sven Silburn                                                       10
  	
   Key factors influencing educational outcomes for Indigenous students and their implications for planning
   and practice in the NT
           Professor Lorna Williams                                                                              14
           Indigenous Education: Finding face, making space, having place

  Concurrent papers
           Ms Georgie Nutton                                                                                     19
           Success in the early years for remote Indigenous children
           Mr Kevin Lowe                                                                                         21
           Aboriginal Languages Reclamation: Countering the neo-colonial onslaught
           Ms Caty Morris and Dr Chris Matthews                                                                  29
           Numeracy, Mathematics and Indigenous Learners: Not the same old thing
           Mr Justin Brown and Ms Gina Milgate                                                                   34
           Successful post school transitions for Indigenous youth
    Professor Jill Milroy                                                                                        38
  	Incorporating and understanding different ways of knowing in the education of Indigenous students
           Professor John Lester                                                                                 41
           Indigenous curriculum is out there but lacking a quality teaching base
    Ms Cath Pearn and Ms Margaret James                                                                          42
  	Research-based literacy and numeracy resource for young Indigenous students
    Dr Kate Reid                                                                                                 43
  	Literacy and Numeracy Learning: What works for young Indigenous students? Lessons from
    the Longitudinal Literacy and Numeracy Study for Indigenous Children
    Associate Professor John Bradley                                                                               48
  	Fairy Stories or Images of Identity? Indigenous knowledge and the place of animation as a transformational tool
           Dr Grace Sarra                                                                                        52
           Indigenous Mathematics: Creating an equitable learning environment
           Ms Kate Connors                                                                                       57
           Reporting against the National Indigenous Reform Agreement: What have we learnt so far?
    Dr Sarah Buckley and Ms Stephanie Armstrong                                                                  62
  	An Investigation into the Attendance and Retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Students:
    Research and theory about what works

  Poster presentations                                                                                           67
  Conference program                                                                                             71
  Darwin Convention Centre floorplan                                                                             75
  Conference delegates                                                                                           79
Conference Proceedings - ACER Research Repository
Research Conference 2011 Planning Committee
     Professor Geoff Masters
     Conference Convenor, CEO, ACER
     Members of Conference Planning Committee (alphabetical order)
     Ms Clair Andersen
     Director Indigenous Higher Education, University of Tasmania
     Professor Jeannie Herbert
     Foundation Chair of Indigenous Studies, Charles Sturt University, NSW
     Ms Kerry-Anne Hoad
     Director ACER Institute, ACER
     Professor John Lester
     Inaugural Chair Aboriginal Studies, University of Newcastle, NSW
     Dr Nola Purdie,
     Principal Research Fellow, ACER
     Ms Lynda Rosman
     Manager Programs and Projects, ACER Institute, ACER

     Copyright © 2011 Australian Council for Educational Research
     19 Prospect Hill Road Camberwell VIC 3124 AUSTRALIA
     www.acer.edu.au
     ISBN 978-1-74286-047-3
     Design and layout by Stacey Zass of Page 12 and ACER Project Publishing
     Editing by Carolyn Glascodine and Kerry-Anne Hoad
     Printed by Print Impressions

                                                      Research Conference 2011

iv
Foreword
Geoff Masters
Australian Council for Educational                   Research Conference 2011 is the sixteenth national Research Conference. Through
Research                                             our research conferences, ACER provides significant opportunities at the national
                                                     level for reviewing current research-based knowledge in key areas of educational
Geoff Masters is Chief Executive Officer and a       policy and practice. A primary goal of these conferences is to inform educational
member of the Board of the Australian Council        policy and practice.
for Educational Research (ACER) – roles he has
held since 1998.                                     Research Conference 2011 brings together key researchers, policy makers and
He has a PhD in educational measurement from         teachers from a broad range of educational contexts from around Australia and
the University of Chicago and has published          overseas. The conference will explore the important theme of Indigenous education.
widely in the fields of educational assessment and   It will draw together research-based knowledge about the environmental conditions,
research.
                                                     pedagogical strategies and curriculum approaches that create pathways to success
Professor Masters has served on a range of           for Indigenous students. The conference will explore our understanding of the
bodies, including terms as founding President of     role of language and story telling in supporting access to the curriculum and it will
the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association;
President of the Australian College of Educators;    consider directions from research studies in the key areas of early-years education,
Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for        literacy and numeracy learning, attendance and retention of students and successful
the International Association for the Evaluation     post school transitions.
of Educational Achievement (IEA); Chair of
the Technical Advisory Group for the OECD’s          We are sure that the papers and discussions from this research conference will
Programme for International Student Assessment       make a major contribution to the national and international literature and debate on
(PISA); member of the Business Council of
                                                     key issues related to Indigenous education.
Australia’s Education, Skills and Innovation
Taskforce; member of the Australian National         We welcome you to Research Conference 2011, and encourage you to engage
Commission for UNESCO (and Chair of the
Commission’s Education Network); and member
                                                     in conversation with other participants, and to reflect on the research and its
of the International Baccalaureate Research          connections to policy and practice.
Committee.
He has undertaken a number of reviews for
governments, including a review of examination
procedures in the New South Wales Higher
School Certificate (2002); an investigation of
options for the introduction of an Australian
Certificate of Education (2005); a national review
of options for reporting and comparing school
performances (2008); and a review of strategies
for improving literacy, numeracy and science
                                                     Professor Geoff N Masters
learning in Queensland primary schools (2009).       Chief Executive Officer, ACER
Professor Masters was the recipient of the
Australian College of Educators’ 2009 College
Medal in recognition of his contributions to
education.

                                                                                                                                       vii
Research Conference 2011

viii
Keynote papers
Educational Success: A sustainable
outcome for all Indigenous Australian
students when teachers understand
where the learning journey begins
                                                     Abstract                                      conference participants to make the
                                                                                                   connections between the realities of
                                                     The statistics for educational outcomes       what has been delivered to Aboriginal
                                                     for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander     and Torres Strait Islander students
                                                     students continually reinforce the            in the name of education and the
                                                     notion of ‘failure’, of a specific cohort     educational outcomes those students
                                                     of students who are ‘not coping’, of the      have been able to acquire as a result of
                                                     majority of teachers at a loss concerning     such education provision.
                                                     what to do. Overall, it is a picture of
                                                     doom and gloom, clearly demonstrating         While this discussion will provide a
Jeannie Herbert                                      that education in this country has failed     reflective analysis of a wide range of
Charles Sturt University, NSW                        to live up to its promise for all students.   qualitative research data, it will also
                                                     In this presentation, research outcomes       include an extrapolation of relevant
Professor Jeannie Herbert is the Foundation          will be used to construct a different         statistical data, which is intended to
Chair of Indigenous Studies at Charles Sturt
                                                     picture, a paradigm for a better              provide an additional frame through
University, New South Wales. During almost                                                         which to consider and focus upon
two decades in the university sector, she has        future built on a strong foundation of
held various positions, including: Vice-Chancellor   sustainable education outcomes for            those factors which have had the
of the Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary     the descendants of this nation’s First        greatest impact upon the capacity of
Education, Northern Territory; Chair of
                                                     Peoples. The evidence presented will          Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Indigenous Australian Studies and Head of                                                          students to access and effectively
School of Indigenous Australian Studies at James     highlight what can happen when the
Cook University, Queensland; and Director of         learning environment is developed,            participate in the educational programs
the Oorala Aboriginal Centre at the University       nurtured, maintained and led by               offered across all levels of learning
of New England, New South Wales. Her work
                                                     teachers who understand and value the         within our education systems. Making
in the tertiary sector is the culmination of a                                                     these connections between qualitative
long career in education which has included          importance of their role in providing
experience as a classroom teacher across all         a range of opportunities that will            and quantitative data at the beginning
sectors and P–12 Guidance Officer (20+ yrs);         enable students to evolve into highly         of this paper is a crucial element
educational administration and management
                                                     motivated, autonomous learners.               in creating a starting point for the
across schooling and tertiary sectors (10+ yrs);                                                   discussion, a lens through which
education and training consultant in the private
and public sectors; and researcher, including her    Introduction                                  participants will be able to acquire a
PhD study that focused on Indigenous success in                                                    more in-depth insight into the issues.
education.                                           In considering the theme for this
                                                     conference, ‘Indigenous Education:            Hence, the introduction builds the
                                                     Pathways to Success’, this paper will         framework through which the paper
                                                     begin with an introductory discussion         will then pursue the question ‘Is
                                                     aimed at contextualising its focus within     success a matter of choice?’ This
                                                     the overall conference theme. This            is the key question that underlies
                                                     introduction will provide a brief outline     the title of this paper, ‘Educational
                                                     of the critical issues that research has      Success: A sustainable outcome for all
                                                     revealed to be the possible causes            Indigenous Australian students when
                                                     underlying the way in which education         teachers understand where the learning
                                                     for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander     journey begins’. Similarly, it is a critical
                                                     peoples has been positioned within            aspect of the notion that ‘Indigenous
                                                     Australian education. The presenter will      Education’ can provide the ‘Pathways to
                                                     draw on her own research over the             Success’ highlighted in the conference
                                                     past two decades to reveal these issues       theme. It is the question that, ultimately,
                                                     and their impact upon the educational         at the conclusion of this conference,
                                                     positioning of this nation’s First Peoples.   participants should have acquired
                                                     This is an essential first step in enabling   the knowledge and understanding to

Indigenous Education: Pathways to success

                                                                                                                                             3
be able to answer for themselves. It         projects that have been undertaken in        engagement; building on strengths;
is a question that, in its relevance in      recent years, thus providing participants    resourcing; quality of educational
enabling us to engage with all learners,     with access to evidence that will inform     programs; and commitment to building
is quintessential to our capacity to be      them and enable them to:                     a better society for all Australians.
effective educators.                                                                      These are issues that premise the
                                             • reflect upon previous perceptions
                                                                                          capacity of this nation to deliver on the
                                               about Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Examination of the issues                      Islander student achievement
                                                                                          theme for this conference, ‘Indigenous
                                                                                          Education: Pathways to Success’. And
A critical component of any
                                             • recognise, understand and accept           because of their vital connection to
examination of issues in Indigenous
                                               the current reality as the essential       our nation-building capacity, these
education in this country requires
                                               platform upon which to build               are also issues that ultimately depend
some consideration of the role
                                               deeper insights into the reality of        upon teachers to make them workable.
of government in developing,
                                               Indigenous educational achievement         Teachers need to know and understand
implementing and driving the overall
                                             • develop a better understanding of          these issues so that they are able to:
agenda that determines the direction
of Indigenous education. A brief               what needs to happen to effect             • relate to them
investigation of the major reviews and         the much-needed change that
                                                                                          • recognise their importance in terms
reports that have been undertaken by           will create more positive attitudes
                                                                                            of their capacity to do their job well
the Australian Government since the            toward education for Aboriginal and
1990 implementation of the National            Torres Strait Islander Australians         • accept responsibility for making
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island            and realise that such attitudinal            them work for them
Education Policy will be included in this      change is critical to creating more
                                                                                          • value the reciprocal nature of their
presentation. The focus in this area will      positive mind-sets in both teachers
                                                                                            role within and beyond educational
be a consideration of those strategies         and learners
                                                                                            settings
that successive governments have             • identify what, according to the
implemented as a means of improving                                                       • demonstrate respect not only for
                                               research, it is that works for
Indigenous access, participation,                                                           the issues, but also for the people
                                               Indigenous students across the
retention and achievement. This                                                             whose lives are so dependent upon
                                               various levels of education
discussion will provide an additional lens                                                  their ability to address these issues
through which to analyse the research        • determine why some strategies                effectively.
outcomes.                                      have been successful
                                                                                          Case studies demonstrating the value of
In examining the issues, the focus           • consider the messages emerging             using research outcomes as a tool for
will be on identifying those factors           from the research and the                  change
that, according to research, have had          implications such messages have for
                                                                                          In this section of the paper, case
the greatest impact upon the access,           future education in Australi.
                                                                                          studies across various levels of
participation, retention and success of      It needs to be stated that the focus in      education, in a diversity of geographic
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander        examining the issues is directly linked to   locations, will be used to demonstrate
students. The implications of those          research findings; hence, the discussion     how education can be a tool of
issues will then be critically examined in   about those issues will reflect the          empowerment. Each case study will be
order to:                                    individual studies being considered.         outlined and considered individually to
• develop a comparative overview of          Experience reveals, however, that some       demonstrate the value of the research
  past and present practices                 issues have a currency, and a degree of      within both individual and collective
                                             urgency, across a variety of educational     contexts. It is these findings that will
• clarify effective practice within          situations. The presenter will, therefore,   then be discussed in relation to their
  the context of what needs to be            examine such issues prior to the more        contribution in terms of enabling
  done to overcome the long-term,            in-depth consideration of individual         effective change and the implications
  compounding effects of what has            case studies. The importance of the          of this for individual students and the
  been persistently perceived as             following issues will be included in         wider society, both now and in the
  ‘Indigenous failure’ in education.         this discussion – relationships based        future.
This section of the paper will draw          upon an equality of regard; willingness
                                                                                          It is through this section of the paper
upon the findings of various research        to develop a capacity for meaningful
                                                                                          that the presenter will utilise research

                                                                                                Research Conference 2011

4
outcomes to construct a different             enable students to evolve into highly       including those who are descendants of
picture and demonstrate how some              motivated, autonomous learners.             our First Nations. This is the question
Indigenous students are making the                                                        that ultimately determines whether or
transition through the various levels         The challenge of the future?                not our educational providers have the
of education by traversing a range of                                                     capacity to meet the challenge of the
                                              In summarising the value of research
pathways that have been designed to                                                       future.
                                              as a means of enabling participants
cater for the specific learning needs of
                                              to empower themselves for their
individual students. It will be through                                                   Conclusion
                                              own futures, the presenter will use
the revelations of such successful
                                              the evidence of her own research to         Finally, this paper will provide a brief
educational practice that participants
                                              respond to the question ‘Is success a       snapshot in time of what is currently
will gain some valuable insights into
                                              matter of choice?’ The research has         happening in this nation in relation to
ways in which many Indigenous
                                              demonstrated that, where success            the nation’s capacity to deal with the
Australian students are transitioning into
                                              has been a matter of personal choice,       cultural diversity that is a feature of our
educational success that builds their
                                              Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander       society. This discussion will be used
individual capacity to make those ‘life
                                              students across various levels of           to reflect upon the capacity of our
changes’ that are critical to effectively
                                              education have taken control of their       educational providers to accept the
engaging in the education process
                                              lives and achieved the educational          challenge of preparing the nation for its
that is central to all of our lives and
                                              achievements that they wanted in order      future as a culturally diverse nation. This
essential in equipping us to build better
                                              to take them where they want to go.         is a vital issue for Indigenous education,
futures for ourselves and our families.
                                              Importantly, education providers need       for unless this nation can transition its
A central focus of this picture will likely
                                              to acknowledge the learner’s personal       peoples into a harmonious, democratic
be the importance of relationships and
                                              agency in defining ‘success’ within the     society where all people are treated
the quality engagement, within both
                                              parameters of their own values and          with respect regardless of their cultural
individual and collective settings, that
                                              beliefs systems. Effecting change in such   values and beliefs, then Aboriginal and
identify strengths and provide valuable
                                              decisions, is a matter for negotiation      Torres Strait Islander students will
guidance to those with a genuine desire
                                              between the learner and the person          continue to struggle to achieve their
to know how to work with those
                                              who would seek to influence such            rights and ensure that their success is
strengths.
                                              decision making.                            a matter of choice – their own choice.
The case studies will be used to                                                          This is a transition that has the power
                                              While the case studies were used
demonstrate how a paradigm for a                                                          to change this nation’s history.
                                              to explore individual achievement,
better future is possible. The firm
                                              this summary will provide a broader         The question is ‘Are our educational
foundations are already in place and
                                              overview of the research outcomes           providers up to the challenge?’ Can
it is through heeding the outcomes of
                                              to demonstrate where Aboriginal             they provide the education that all
research such as those discussed in this
                                              and Torres Strait Islander students         citizens will require if success is, in fact,
paper that we as a nation can achieve
                                              are currently positioned within our         going to be, a matter of choice.
sustainable education outcomes for
                                              education systems. In reflecting upon
the descendants of this nation’s First
                                              the changes that have occurred in
Peoples.
                                              Indigenous education in recent years,
It must be realised, however, that this       the discussion will be expanded into
is not simply going to happen without a       a consideration of the implications of
concerted effort from all Australians –       such change for the future of education
those who constitute the First Nations        in this country. Within that context, the
of this land and those who followed           question ‘Is success a matter of choice?’
later and who now call this country           will be used to turn the lens back onto
theirs. The evidence presented will           this nation’s educational providers –
highlight what can happen when the            our institutions and the people who
learning environment is developed,            develop and deliver the educational
nurtured, maintained and led by               services – for a final consideration of
teachers who understand and value the         their current positioning in relation to
importance of their role in providing         their capacity to deliver on the promise
a range of opportunities that will            of education for all Australian students,

Indigenous Education: Pathways to success

                                                                                                                                      5
Indigenous education:
Creating classrooms of tomorrow today
                                                      Abstract                                    poor record in the education outcomes
                                                                                                  of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
                                                      Engagement or participation in              children. Current education policy, with
                                                      education is a key factor affecting         good cause, is firmly fixed on closing
                                                      the life chances of all Australians.        education gaps between Indigenous
                                                      What will this look like in the future      and non-Indigenous children. However,
                                                      for Indigenous children who have an         the world is moving into cyberspace
                                                      overall lower level of participation        through the growth of mobile devices
                                                      in education than non-Indigenous            and the digital age that signals yet
                                                      Australians? 21st century schooling for     more challenges for schools that are
Lester-Irabinna Rigney                                Indigenous students in the next decade      already under pressure. What is the
Adelaide University, SA                               will look very different to today. This     future of Indigenous education? Can
                                                      paper discusses the characteristics of      21st century learning revolutionise the
Professor Rigney has taught in secondary              curriculum, policy and pedagogy for
schools and university teacher education courses
                                                                                                  way we educate teachers and students?
across South Australia since 1991. Professor
                                                      future schooling of Indigenous children.    What advantages can we gleam from
Lester-Irabinna Rigney is Dean of Aboriginal          It uses national and international          digital literacy through greater access
Education, Director of the Wilto Yerlo Centre         literature to explore 21st century          to technology? Indigenous education
at Adelaide University, and is one of the most        learning that seeks to revolutionise the
influential Indigenous educationalists in Australia
                                                                                                  and its future is a sizable issue and one
today. In 2009 he received an honorary United
                                                      way we educate teachers and students.       worthy of further exploration.
Nations award from the Australian Chapter             It highlights that Indigenous students
for his work on Indigenous Education. He is on        live in a multi-tasking, multifaceted,      21st century schools the
several high-profile expert committees, including     technology-driven, diverse, rapidly
the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare                                                    new challenge: are we
                                                      changing world which is far removed
COAG ‘Closing the Gap’ Scientific Reference                                                       ready?
Group, the National Aboriginal Reference              from the world faced by most of their
Group 25 Year Indigenous Education Plan and           teachers at the time they entered           Schools have seen a recent influx of
Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting        adulthood. 21st century learning            new devices – such as the iPad, new
Authority, National Languages Curriculum
                                                      requires new spaces that are culturally     T-Touch Tab, iPhones and Smart
Reference Group. In 2009 he completed a
review of the National Indigenous Education           safe, coherent and consistent. They do      phones, all of which can connect to the
document ‘Australian Directions’ for the Federal      not override Indigenous cultures, but       internet over 3G mobile networks. Can
Government. Interest in Professor Rigney’s            draw upon them as a source of learning      these technologies develop an entirely
work by national and international universities
                                                      foundation on which to build new            new way of teaching and learning that
has seen him take up several prestigious Visiting
Research Fellowships, including at Cambridge          digital learning structures. They connect   is better, more successful and more
University, United Kingdom; at Fort Hare              school, home, country and community         affordable? Are schools ready for
University, South Africa; and at University of        learning in successful ways. A key          these new challenges? Some schools
British Columbia, Canada. Professor Rigney
                                                      purpose of the paper is to evaluate the     are, but most are yet to fully grasp
is in constant demand as a commentator on
national and international Indigenous matters and     quality of available evidence regarding     the technological changes in the digital
has published widely on Education, Languages          strategies for improving school             revolution. Professor Martin Westall
and Knowledge transmission. His recent 2006           attendance, retention and outcomes.         reminds us that ‘despite changes,
co-edited book, titled Sharing Spaces: Indigenous
                                                                                                  schools still, by and large, look similar
and Non-Indigenous Responses to Story, Country and
Rights, is the most up-to-date Australian text on     Introduction                                to the schools of the 20th and even
Indigenous and non-Indigenous race relations and                                                  19th century, and that if schools are to
how they converge in the vulnerable, vital and        Learning through a quality education
                                                                                                  ‘maintain relevance’, they must ‘bridge
contested space called ‘education’.                   has substantial positive social and
                                                                                                  the gap between how students will live
                                                      economic effects for children, including:
                                                                                                  as adults and how they learn’ (2008,
                                                      greater academic achievement;
                                                                                                  p. 1–2).
                                                      increasing schooling interest and
                                                      attendance; easing school transition; and   Westall of the Flinders University
                                                      raising the self-esteem of all children     Centre for Science Education in the 21st
                                                      (Buckskin, Hughes, Price, Rigney, Sarra,    century argues that ‘Young people in
                                                      Adams, Hayward, Teasdale, & Gregory,        the 21st century will spend their adult
                                                      2009; Barnett, 1995, 1998; Buckley,         lives in a multi-tasking, multifaceted,
                                                      1996). In Australia, schools maintain a     technology-driven, diverse, rapidly

                                                                                                        Research Conference 2011

6
changing world which is far removed         recognition and resolution if the crisis     century capabilities in order to
from the world faced by most of their       is to be addressed. There is a current       participate in e-commerce and digital
teachers at the time they entered           crisis in Indigenous Education (Rigney,      economies. If Indigenous Australian
adulthood’ (Westalll, 2008). Others like    Rigney, Hughes 1998). For example,           societies are to move forward, then
Harvard educator Dr Tony Wagner             the Productivity Commission reported         schools have a responsibility not only
claim that despite the best efforts of      nationally in 2008, 63.4 per cent of         to close the gap, but also to develop
educators, schools are ‘dangerously         year 5 Indigenous students achieved          in students a deep understanding of
obsolete’ and he is puzzled why             the national minimum standard for            technologies. The analytical and policy
even the best schools do not teach          reading compared with their non-             issues that arise from this poses a
the new survival skills our children        Indigenous counterparts of 92.6 per          conundrum for current Indigenous
need for the future (Wagner, 2008).         cent (SCRGSP, 2009, 4.41). The crisis is     education policy whose evidence about
Wagner calls for the reinvention            also emphasised in the latest research       Indigenous populations are unreliable,
of schools for the 21st century for         that indicates that Indigenous children      not e-enabled but purely focused on
the sake of our children who need           (Rigney, 2003; Rigney 2006; Worby &          closing gaps. These policy tensions need
skills and knowledge to address the         Rigney 2006; Butterworth & Candy,            to be resolved.
successes and ills inherited from the       1998; SCRGSP, 2009; Fordham &
previous generation. New mobile             Schwab 2007):                                21st century policy and
devices and access to the internet                                                       evidence implications
                                            • live in poverty
in schools is ‘becoming a magnet for
students’ with new scholarly debates        • suffer higher rates of child abuse         It is without question that 21st
about what ‘facilities are adequate to        and neglect                                century Indigenous education requires
achieve educational equality and true                                                    21st century evidence and policy.
                                            • are less likely to receive an early        However, recent research has called
opportunity’ (Wilhelm 2004, p. 31).
                                              childhood education, especially            into question the orthodox source of
The educational changes brought on
                                              3–5-year-olds                              evidence centrally used over the past
by the technological revolution in the
last ten years are far greater than the     • are well behind in literacy and            two decades for Indigenous reform,
previous two hundred. Opportunities           numeracy skills                            the Australian Census administered
abound for Indigenous education in                                                       by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
                                            • have poorer health                         Analysing the 2006 Census results,
the 21st century and the potential is
great for welfare reform, health care       • have less access to secondary              Taylor and Biddle (2008; 2010) found
and workforce growth. Indeed, these           school                                     large discrepancies in population figures
are the right goals for public policy                                                    in what are called ‘Indigenous Areas’.
                                            • are less than half as likely to            The results revealed that in many
to pursue. However, the challenge of          proceed through to Year 12.
bringing schools with high Indigenous                                                    remote towns, and in many outstations,
populations into digital learning is made   Because the crisis in education is           the change in the census count of
complex when Australia is caught            considerable, it could be argued             Indigenous population between 2001
in a historical moment of trying to         that technology is a luxury, a tool          and 2006 was substantially deficient.
close basic educational gaps between        inessential for basic living and survival.   In contrast, in most regional towns, and
Indigenous and non-Indigenous               In his book Digital Nation Wilhelm           in particular suburbs of major cities,
students.                                   (2004) counters this and argues that         the change in the count was greater
                                            in the 21st century the capacity to          than expected after considering the
Current and future                          communicate will almost certainly be         contribution to population change from
challenges in Indigenous                    a key human right where the right to         net migration and natural increase’
                                            telecommunicate will be as important         (Taylor & Biddle, 2008, p. v). As a
education
                                            as drinking water. This premise is           consequence, they conclude, ‘in many
It is not a ‘natural’ phenomenon when       predicated on the belief that ‘emerging      remote locations we cannot use 2006
Indigenous students fail school, but        information and communications               Census counts at face value and in such
a combination of poor social policy,        technologies are essential for individuals   places, the census is more like a sample
unfair economic arrangements and            and communities to fulfil their life         survey of the Indigenous population
an ‘inclusive curricula’ wilderness         pursuits in an e-enabled world               that will need to be carefully adjusted
(Fordham & Schwab, 2007). Matters           (Wilhelm, 2004, p. 30). Indigenous           to assist informed policy-making’
beyond the school gate need                 students must possess these 21st             (Taylor & Biddle, 2008, p. v).

Indigenous Education: Pathways to success

                                                                                                                                7
One drawback according to Taylor              are ill-prepared for life and work in         for implementation to be applied
and Biddle is the fact that we have no        our current world, let alone the next         in Australia, Indigenous interests,
data on the characteristics of those          ten years. In his book, The Global            cultures, languages and literacy’s
not counted. Because of faulty census         Achievement Gap, he outlines seven            must be explicit and sustained in the
data informing Indigenous education,          essential 21st century Survival Skills that   curriculum core. Other priority areas
health and social service provision           children will need for their future:          include: community engagement;
Indigenous communities fiscal settings                                                      access and affordability to technology;
                                              1 Critical thinking and problem solving
based on such estimates have been                                                           more inclusive and diverse public
‘commensurately undervalued over              2 Collaboration across networks               policy; digital and health literacy;
the past 35 years’ so that ‘services                                                        and environmental literacy. Modern
                                              3 Agility and adaptability
and programs provided to remote                                                             21st century learning requires
communities on the basis of official          4 Initiative and entrepreneurialism           new spaces that are culturally safe,
population estimates have been                5 Effective oral and written                  coherent and consistent. They do
chronically inadequate’ (2008, p­ p. v–vi).     communication                               not override Indigenous cultures,
Such imprecision and substantial ‘under-                                                    but draw upon them as a source of
countering’ give rise to issues of public     6 Accessing and analysing information         learning foundation on which to build
policy concern. Projections for 21st          7 Curiosity and imagination                   new digital learning structures. They
century Indigenous populations and their                                                    connect school, home, country and
digital needs require greater accuracy in     Wagner informs us of the changing             community learning in successful ways.
evidence for public policy to guide fiscal    nature of students. Similarly, a leading      The future of digital technologies
settings.                                     US advocacy organisation Partnerships         in Indigenous education is upon us.
                                              for 21st Century Learning has written a       However, it is important to remember
The current COAG ‘Closing the                 report titled Framework for 21st century      that Indigenous perspectives
Gap’ campaign complements the                 Skills (PCS, 2009). The 21st century          of Indigenous education in the
Draft Indigenous Education Action Plan        interdisciplinary themes include:             21st century are under-theorised in
developed by the Ministerial Council
                                              a) Global awareness                           Australia. We have little knowledge of
and embodies a welcomed new
                                                                                            what parents of Indigenous children
approach to Indigenous education.             b) Learning and thinking skills               think about digital education or their
Because of its infancy, it remains to
                                              c) Financial, economic, business and          needs and aspirations that an ICT
be seen if 21st century Indigenous
                                                 entrepreneurial literacy                   education can provide into the 21st
education will be assisted favourably
                                                                                            century. We have limited knowledge
by other recent campaigns, including          d) Civic, health and environmental            of how to integrate technology into
National Curriculum, the Digital Revolution      literacy                                   non-English speaking Aboriginal
and Building the Education Revolution.
                                              e) Information and communication              communities. We also remain unaware
Today’s Australian students represent
                                                 technology (ICT)                           of its cultural, ethical, moral and socio-
the first generations to grow up in
                                                                                            political consequences.
a world in which information and              f) Life skills
communication technologies are
everywhere. While governments need            g) Modern assessment of 21st century          Conclusion
to be commended for their current                skills
                                                                                            Without modernising Indigenous
attention to the crisis in Indigenous         The report argues that to ensure              education for the 21st century teachers
education, we still have much work to         student mastery of 21st century               face a class of students who: live in
do in preparing Indigenous children for       skills, new 21st century standards,           digital ghettos; are not e-enabled;
the 21st century.                             assessments, curriculum, instruction,         whose age in web years is in single
                                              professional development and learning         digits; and who remain a generation
Indigenous knowledge, skills and
                                              environments must be aligned                  divided. The desires of parents for
attributes for tomorrow
                                              to support systems that produce               21st century Indigenous classrooms
Many views abound about what skills           21st century outcomes for today’s             require teachers, governments and
are needed for tomorrow’s classrooms.         students. These aspects are a good            policy makers to re-think the state of
Wagner’s (2008) work examines                 starting point for discussions on             Indigenous education toward bridging
why parents and educators alike are           21st century Indigenous education.            any future digital divide. The time to act
concerned that the majority of students       From an Indigenous perspective,               is now.

                                                                                                  Research Conference 2011

8
References                                      Secondary Assessment Board of South         Science Education in the 21st century.
                                                Australia (SSABSA), Yunggorendi, First      Flinders Centre for Science Education
Barnett, W. S. (1995). Long-term effects
                                                Nations Centre for Higher Education         in the 21st century. Retrieved June 3,
 of early childhood programs on
                                                and Research, Flinders University.          2011, from http://www.flinders.edu.
 cognitive and school outcomes. The
                                                                                            au/science_engineering/science21/
 Future of Children, 5(3), 25–50.              Rigney, Lester-Irabinna. (2006), Sharing
                                                                                            briefings/
                                                the Australian Language Space:
Barnett, W. S. (1998). Long-term
                                                Reforms for Linguistic Pluralism-          Wilhelm, A. (2004), Digital Nation:
 cognitive and academic effects of
                                                Towards the Stabilisation of                Toward and Inclusive Information Society.
 early childhood education on children
                                                Indigenous Languages. In G. Worby           Cambridge: Massachusetts, MIT Press.
 in poverty. Preventive Medicine, 27,
                                                & Lester-Irabinna Rigney. (2006),
 204–207.                                                                                  Worby, Gus, & Rigney, Lester-Irabinna.
                                                Sharing Spaces: Indigenous and Non-
                                                                                            (2006), Sharing Spaces: Indigenous
Buckley, P. (1996). What entitles a             Indigenous Responses to Story, Country
                                                                                            and Non-Indigenous Responses to
 school to legitimately call itself an          and Rights. API Network, Australian
                                                                                            Story, Country and Rights. Western
 Aboriginal school? The Australian              Research Institute, Curtin University
                                                                                            Australia: API Network, Australian
 Journal of Indigenous Education, 24(1),        of Technology. Western Australia,
                                                                                            Research Institute, Curtin University of
 10–16.                                         pp.384–417.
                                                                                            Technology.
Buckskin, P., Hughes, P., Price, K., Rigney,   Rigney, Lester-Irabinna. (2003),
 L-I., Sarra. C,. Adams, I., Hayward,           ‘Indigenous Education, Languages and
 C., Teasdale, B., Gregory, J. (2009),          Treaty: The redefinition of a new
 Review of Australian Directions in             relationship with Australia’, in Treaty:
 Indigenous Education 2005–2008 for             Lets get it right, eds. Canberra: ATSIC
 the Ministerial Council for Education,         & AIATSIS, AIASTSIS.
 Early Childhood Development and
                                               Steering Committee for the Review
 Youth Affairs. Retrieved June 6, 2011,
                                                of Government Service Provision
 from http://www.mceecdya.edu.au/
                                                (SCRGSP). (2009), Overcoming
 verve/_resources/Review_of_Aust_
                                                Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators
 Directions_in_Indigenous_Ed_2005-
                                                2009. Canberra: Productivity
 2008Att_Comm.pdf
                                                Commission.
Butterworth, D., & Candy, J. (1998).
                                               Taylor, J & Biddle, N. (2010), Estimating
 Quality early childhood practice for
                                                the accuracy of Geographic Variation
 young Aboriginal Children. Australian
                                                in Indigenous populations counts,
 Journal of Early Childhood, 23(2),
                                                In Australian Geographer, 41, 4, pp.
 20–25.
                                                469–484.
Fordham, M, A., & Schwab, G, R.
                                               Taylor, J & Biddle, N. (2008), Locations
 (2007), ‘Education, Training and
                                                of Indigenous Population Change: What
 Indigenous Futures CAEPR Policy
                                                Can We Say? CAEPR WORKING
 Research: 1990–2007’. Centre for
                                                PAPER No. 43/2008. Retrieved June
 Aboriginal Economic Policy Research:
                                                6, 2011, from http://caepr.anu.edu.
 The Australian National University.
                                                au/system/files/Publications/WP/
Partnership for 21st century Skills             CAEPRWP43.pdf
 (PCS). (2009), Framework for 21st
                                               Wagner, T. (2008), The Global
 century Learning. Tucson: United
                                                Achievement Gap: why even our best
 States. Retrieved July 10, 2011, from
                                                schools don’t teach the new survival
 http://www.p21.org/documents/P21_
                                                skills our children need – And what
 Framework.pdf
                                                we can do about it. New York: Basic
Rigney, D., & Rigney, L-I., & Hughes, P.        Books.
 (1998). Report of Aboriginal Students
                                               Westall, M. (2008), ‘Learning for Life in
 and the South Australian Certificate
                                                the 21st century’. Flinders Centre for
 of Education (SACE) for the Senior

Indigenous Education: Pathways to success

                                                                                                                                   9
Key factors influencing educational
outcomes for Indigenous students and
their implications for planning and practice
in the Northern Territory
                                                                                                             Abstract
                                                                                                             This presentation considers the
                                                                                                             intrinsic link between health and
                                                                                                             education and the benefits of
                                                                                                             collaborative research for improving
                                                                                                             the education and life outcomes of
                                                                                                             Indigenous children. The Council of
                                                                                                             Australian Governments’ Overcoming
                                                                                                             Indigenous Disadvantage framework
Jonathan Carapetis                                      Sven Silburn                                         and the Closing the Gap generational
Menzies School of Health Research,                      Menzies School of Health Research,                   strategy have resulted in significant
Darwin                                                  Darwin                                               new funding through a range of
                                                                                                             national partnership agreements to
Professor Jonathon Carapetis is Director of the         Professor Sven Silburn leads the Child               improve Indigenous child health,
Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.            Development: Health, Education and Wellbeing
                                                                                                             development and education. The focus
He is a pediatrician, infectious diseases and           research group at the Menzies School of Health
public health physician, with particular interests in   Research in Darwin. The multi-disciplinary           of these reforms is consistent with the
rheumatic fever, vaccines and vaccine preventable       research of this group seeks to inform evidence-     human development paradigm now
diseases, and health of children in Indigenous          based policy and practice in child and youth         advocated by international agencies
communities and developing countries. Professor         health, education and child protection services in
                                                                                                             such as UNICEF, WHO and OECD.
Carapetis is Chairman of the World Heart                the Northern Territory. He has played a leading
Federation Scientific Council on Rheumatic Fever        role in a number of large-scale epidemiological      They are also informed by recent
and Rheumatic Heart Disease and was a member            studies, including the Western Australian Child      advances in scientific knowledge
of the Territory 2030 Steering Committee,               Health Survey, the Western Australian Aboriginal     regarding the developmental origins
developing a 20-year strategic plan for the             Child Health Survey, the Longitudinal Study of
                                                                                                             of adult health and disease and new
Northern Territory. As Director of Australia’s          Australian Children (LSAC) the Longitudinal
pre-eminent Indigenous health research institute,       Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC) and the          understandings of the importance of
he is leading new approaches to research and            national implementation of the Australian Early      early life environmental influences on
training to tackle some of the big problems             Development Index (AEDI). Prior to taking up         children’s success in school learning
in Indigenous health, including education and           his current position in Darwin in 2009, he was
                                                                                                             and their subsequent opportunities for
housing.                                                co-Director of the Curtin University Centre for
                                                        Developmental Health at the Telethon Institute       participation. The implementation of
                                                        for Child Health Research in Perth.                  these policy initiatives has highlighted
                                                                                                             the need for a higher level of
                                                                                                             collaboration between education,
                                                                                                             health and other areas of research
                                                                                                             relevant to development of Indigenous
                                                                                                             children. It is in this context that the
                                                                                                             research methodologies derived from
                                                                                                             population health and evidence-based
                                                                                                             medicine are proving useful in building
                                                                                                             the evidence base for Indigenous
                                                                                                             education. The presentation will
                                                                                                             discuss the implications of these
                                                                                                             developments for policy and practice
                                                                                                             in Indigenous education and conclude
                                                                                                             with a description of some recent
                                                                                                             collaborative research supporting
                                                                                                             the implementation of Indigenous
                                                                                                             education and other service reforms in
                                                                                                             the Northern Territory.

                                                                                                                   Research Conference 2011

10
Summary                                       international data on the median             individuals and their social and physical
                                              50 decline in infant mortality observed      environments. They include living
There is no other more important
                                              across 12 developing countries in Latin      conditions, interpersonal relationships
determining factor which needs to
                                              America over the 20-year period from         within and between families and their
be addressed in breaking the inter-
                                              1965 and 1985 showed that in all but         communities, the social demographics
generational cycle of poor health and
                                              one of these developing countries            of the family, learning environments and
disadvantage of Indigenous Australians
                                              improvements in maternal education           opportunities for children, the quality
than improving the current poor levels
                                              accounted for 202–20–35% of the              of housing, community amenities,
of school participation and academic
                                              national decline in infant mortality.        neighbourhood safety, as well as the
achievement of Indigenous children.
                                                                                           broader socio-political context. Social
Advancing population level outcomes           Increased educational levels are
                                                                                           determinants have a disproportionate
in education is a central feature of the      associated with better health, social
                                                                                           influence on human development
Council of Australian Governments’            and economic outcomes across
                                                                                           in the earliest years of life. Some
(COAG) Overcoming Indigenous                  all populations. The ways in which
                                                                                           early life environmental factors have
Disadvantage framework and the Closing        education contributes these gradients
                                                                                           immediate influences on the biological
the Gap national strategy to eliminate        of population wellbeing have
                                                                                           development of the child, others have
the Indigenous disparity gap within a         traditionally been attributed to the
                                                                                           an ongoing cumulative effect on health
generation. It is also a key element          cascading benefits generally afforded by
                                                                                           and wellbeing, while others have a
of the human development paradigm             education – such as better vocational
                                                                                           latent effect on adult health outcomes,
now advocated by international                opportunity, improved income, health
                                                                                           for example in adult onset diseases
agencies such as the UN, the WHO              literacy and health behaviours, and
                                                                                           such as type II diabetes.
and the OECD as one of the most               greater empowerment (i. e. personal
effective means presently available to        agency) in accessing and utilising health    Epidemiological studies have been
governments for eradicating poverty           care when needed. More recently, the         valuable in advancing understanding of
and advancing societal wellbeing.             burgeoning research discoveries in the       the ways in which social determinants
Implementing a human development              neurosciences and epigenetics have           appear to account for a large
approach in the Australian Indigenous         expanded scientific understandings of        proportion of the explained variation
context entails significant long-term         the importance of the nature of gene-        in the rates of complex chronic
investments to support families and           environment interaction in children’s        diseases between different segments
communities in strengthening early            years of maximum brain growth and            of the population. These studies offer
child development, improving the              development of skills. These findings        insights into the mechanisms through
effectiveness of school education and         highlight the significant effects of         which social and other environmental
creating new training pathways into           education on cognitive and emotional         factors appear to become ‘embodied’
employment. It also requires better           development, which in turn have              or biologically embedded in health
coordination of strategies to address         enduring effects for lifelong learning and   and disease outcomes. Epidemiological
the known determinants of child               adaptive functioning, such as problem        studies have been vital to the
development and education, as well            solving and emotional resilience             development and implementation of
as addressing the social and health           (The Royal Society, 2011).                   evidence-based policy and practice
problems associated with severe                                                            for the prevention and reduction of
                                              It is well understood that much
disadvantage, such as parental substance                                                   such adverse health outcomes. In the
                                              of the variation in the high rates
abuse, family violence, mental health                                                      Australian Indigenous context this
                                              of chronic disease among adult
and child maltreatment.                                                                    means that progress in reducing the
                                              Indigenous Australians is attributable
                                                                                           life-expectancy gap and burden of
The direct and indirect links between         to their social determinants. Social
                                                                                           chronic ill-health will be extremely
health and education have long been           determinants are factors characterising
                                                                                           slow unless some of the most pressing
recognised in the international health,       environments that individuals are
                                                                                           social determinants are more effectively
education and human development               ‘exposed’ to and that can have a
                                                                                           addressed.
literatures. For example, almost all          lifelong influence. They act at different
developing countries have shown a             levels of influence, interact with one       At the same time it is equally important
linear relationship between increasing        another, and represent a broad array         that education policy and practice is
levels of education of parents and            of characteristics that are not of a         informed by a proper understanding
rates of infant mortality. Cleland et al.’s   biological or genetic basis, but rather      of the social determinants which
1992 analysis of WHO and other                are evident in the interactions between      have greatest influence on children’s

Indigenous Education: Pathways to success

                                                                                                                                11
education outcomes. This requires            past 12 months (OR = 2.0); students          in properly designed evaluations to
knowledge of how these determinants          whose main language spoken in the            be most effective’ (Cochrane, 1972).
are distributed, how they co-occur           playground was Aboriginal English,           Medicine has had a long history where
and interact, and how they might be          Creole or an Aboriginal language             practice was based on loose bodies of
avoided or their influences modified.        (OR = 2.4, 2.9 and 1.3 respectively);        knowledge, or simply lore that drew
One of the few existing sources of           students whose parents reported              upon the experiences of generations
epidemiological data regarding the           they had trouble getting enough sleep        of practitioners, with much of it having
population level determinants of the         (OR = 1.5); students who had never           little, or no, scientific evidence on
educational outcomes of Australian           attended day care (OR = 1.5); students       which to justify various practices. The
Indigenous children is the Western           whose primary carer had needed               rapid recent advances in medicine
Australian Aboriginal Child Health           to see the school principal about a          and health care are now generally
Survey (WAACHS). The WAACHS                  problem the student was having at            accepted to be due to the widespread
involved a cross-sectional survey of         school (OR = 1.5); and students in           adoption of EBM. It has also been of
representative population sample of          schools with a high proportion of            value in protecting the public from
5600 Western Australian Aboriginal           Aboriginal students, or in schools that      the risks of unfounded ‘treatments’
children aged 0–17 years. The data           had Aboriginal and Islander Education        as well as identifying risks associated
were collected in households from            Officers (OR = 1.4).                         with ‘established’ and unfounded
parents/carers and young people aged                                                      ‘treatments’. Put simply, it has shown
                                             These determinants of school
12–17 years by trained Indigenous                                                         the value of identifying what actually
                                             attendance highlight the need for
and non-Indigenous interviewers. With                                                     works so it can be improved and
                                             current reform initiatives in Indigenous
family consent, data were also obtained                                                   promoted.
                                             education being linked and developed
from school principals and the teachers
                                             in synergy with the broader reform           Evidence-based practice (EBP) has also
of 2739 of the survey children who
                                             initiatives in Indigenous affairs. They      become a major influence in education
were enrolled in school.
                                             also suggest that strategies to improve      in recent years. In a similar fashion it
Half of all the Aboriginal students in       school attendance will be more               has been suggested that the limited
the WAACHS had attended school               effective if they can address certain        progress in improving educational
for at least 87.5% of the school year.       community and family factors which           outcomes can, in part, be attributed to
In other words, the median number of         are outside schools’ traditional areas       instructional practices derived from the
days absent was 26 days. In contrast,        of influence. Strengthening school–          unconnected experience of thousands
the median days of school absence            community partnerships and mobilising        of individual teachers, each ‘re-inventing
of their non-Indigenous counterparts         community action to support school           the wheel’ and failing to adapt their
was 8 days. The large scale and              attendance is clearly vital to the success   practices in the light of the cumulative
comprehensive scope of the WAACHS            of school and welfare reforms seeking        scientific evidence regarding ‘what
enabled logistic regression modelling        to improve student attendance.               works’. Opponents the EBP model
to be used to investigate how a range                                                     suggest it is not an appropriate method
                                             The greater emphasis on accountability
of child, family, school and community                                                    for knowing whether a particular
                                             in professional practice in health,
factors operated singly and in concert                                                    teaching method works, as this will
                                             education and other areas of public
to predict the likelihood of a student                                                    depend on a host of specific contextual
                                             sector management has brought
having had more than 26 days of                                                           factors, not least of which are those to
                                             with it the notion of ‘evidence-
school absence. No less than eight                                                        do with the style, personality and beliefs
                                             based practice’ (EBP) as a means of
factors were found to be independently                                                    of the teacher and the specific needs of
                                             ensuring the quality, efficiency and
associated with an increased likelihood                                                   the particular children in a class.
                                             effectiveness of policy, programs
(i. e. odds ratio) of a child missing more
                                             and services in achieving desired            Modern evaluation theory stresses the
than the median (26) days absence in
                                             individual and population outcomes.          need to consider the various types
a school year. They included children
                                             This has its origins in ‘evidence-based      of evidence which are appropriate to
whose carers had Year 9 or fewer
                                             medicine’ (EBM) first advocated by           their intended purpose when evaluating
years of schooling (OR = 1.5); children
                                             the UK epidemiologist Cochrane               programs and practices with different
with clinically significant emotional or
                                             who suggested that ‘… because                populations and in differing practice
behavioural difficulties (OR = 2.0);
                                             resources would always be limited,           settings. Rather than reaching policy
children in families where 7 to 14 life
                                             they should be used to provide forms         conclusions and deciding actions on the
stress events had occurred in the
                                             of health care which had been shown          basis of the evaluation of single studies

                                                                                                Research Conference 2011

12
or programs, evidence-based policy           policy and practice as well as improving
and practice now generally assumes           public accountability in the monitoring
that it is necessary to aggregate results    and reporting of how these initiatives
from a range of different evaluations        are tracking in achieving their intended
through systematic reviews in order to       aims. The presentation will conclude
produce reliable and comprehensive           with examples of collaborative health
evidence. This entails locating the          and education research which is guiding
evidence, critically appraising its          service reform in Indigenous education
relevance, consistency, quality and value,   and helping to build partnerships
then synthesising and disseminating the      between communities, schools and
conclusions with recommendations (or         other service providers in tackling the
requirements) for improving practice. In     root causes of Indigenous disadvantage.
appraising and ranking the value of the
available studies, a number of different
evidence hierarchies have [been] found
to be useful according their intended
purpose. One such evidence hierarchy
was recently proposed for Australian
policymakers by the Australian Treasury
(Leigh, 2010). This ranks the evidence
from different study methodologies in
the following order:
1 Systematic reviews (meta-analyses)
  of multiple randomised trials
2 High-quality randomised trials
3 Systematic reviews (meta-analyses)
  of natural experiments and before-
  after studies
4 Natural experiments (quasi-
  experiments) using techniques
  such as differences-in differences,
  regression discontinuity, matching,
  or multiple regression
5 Before–after (pre-post) studies
6 Expert opinion and theoretical
  conjecture
In the area of Australian Indigenous
education there are relatively few
published studies and systematic
evaluations of policies and programs
that would satisfy the higher levels
of this evidence hierarchy. Given the
unprecedented new investment now
being made to improve Indigenous
education outcomes, it seems more
important than ever to ensure this is
matched by high priority being given to
building the evidence base for effective

Indigenous Education: Pathways to success

                                                                                        13
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