Indigenous tertiary education - we are all learning: both-ways pedagogy in the Northern Territory of Australia

Melodie Bat, Claire Kilgariff, Tina Doe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this new era in tertiary education in Australia, the opportunity exists not only to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and thus redress low access and participation rates, but also to build a system that privileges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and ways of learning. To be able to do such a thing would require a shared vision and approach from within the institution and across the academy. In Australia, there is one tertiary education provider with the experience and expertise to be able to develop such an approach - Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE). BIITE has been engaged in the post-secondary education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for over 40 years, evolving from a small vocational programme to become a dual sector provider with over 2700 students from across Australia (BIITE, 2011, p. 21). BIITE's philosophy of adult education is that of both-ways, which has been built from knowledge shared by Aboriginal peoples in the Northern Territory. The methodology presented in this paper extends the both-ways philosophy into a generative framework that has applicability in the many different contexts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tertiary education in Australia. It is our intention to generate a broader discussion about this opportunity in tertiary education and shift the discourse from inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to recognising the knowledges and ways of learning of the first peoples of this land as a strong foundation for the entire nation's learning. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-886
Number of pages16
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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