'Red dirt' schools and pathways into higher education

John Guenther, Samantha Disbray, Tessa Benveniste, Sam Osborne

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    Abstract

    Since 2011 the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation’s (CRC-REP) Remote Education Systems (RES) project has investigated aspects of remote schooling with a view to uncovering ways that outcomes for remote students and their families could be improved. One of the key questions driving the research was ‘what is education for in remote communities?’ The bulk of responses from remote Aboriginal respondents discussed the need for education to maintain language and culture, and build strong identities in young people. Very few respondents suggested that school was a stepping stone on a pathway to higher education. The question remains then, ‘what kinds of pathways would enable remote learners to progress to university and then to succeed?’ The answers we provide to this question are in part drawn from the RES research findings. But we also propose responses that are built on principles that emerge from the project. We look forward to consider how remote education systems could respond to give young people with aspirations for higher education the opportunities they need to succeed. The answers we provide recognise the complexity of the context. In particular, we provide a critique of boarding school strategies and suggest – in line with RES findings – strategies and approaches that are responsive to both the aspirations stated by community members for the future of the youth and the community.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIndigenous Pathways, Transitions and Participation in Higher Education
    Subtitle of host publicationFrom Policy to Practice
    PublisherSpringer Singapore
    Chapter15
    Pages251-270
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9789811040627
    ISBN (Print)9789811040610
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2017

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    Guenther, J., Disbray, S., Benveniste, T., & Osborne, S. (2017). 'Red dirt' schools and pathways into higher education. In Indigenous Pathways, Transitions and Participation in Higher Education: From Policy to Practice (pp. 251-270). Springer Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-4062-7_15