Kardu perceptions of schooling
: an ethnographic study of perceptions of school-education held by adults in the Aboriginal community at Wadeye

  • Brian Joseph Graham

    Student thesis: Coursework Masters - CDU

    Abstract

    This study is concerned with the phenomenon of Western style institutional education as present in a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory of Australia.

    Its aim is to elicit the understanding of school and what school constitutes in the minds of the adults of the community in which it is operating. It further aims to elicit any statements about their feelings about school-based education that they are prepared to express.

    As the research problem is located within a group of people whose culture has been exposed in the last sixty years to many elements of a different culture which are quite alien to their own, it was considered appropriate to use an anthropological approach to the study of the problem. Such methods, including a study of the background of the problem through analysis of relevant documents, were used to allow the adult members of the community to express their current perceptions of the institution of school as it operates in their township. These methods included participant observation and the collection of language texts, usually oral. The latter were used for linguistic analysis. All data was used in analysis of the issues that were raised by the people themselves.

    The framework in which the study proceeded was the theoretical concept of culture. The data and analysis tend to indicate that the process of Western style education is not an integral part of the culture of the community and is perceived mainly as a means of dealing with aspects of a foreign culture that is impinging on their lives.
    Date of AwardJul 1994
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMerridy Malin (Supervisor)

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