Learning and language
: classroom perspectives at Nungalinya College

  • Joy Maree Salmond

    Student thesis: Other thesis - CDU


    This study examines the educational perspectives of Aboriginal adults who are students at Nungalinya College. Despite low academic standards, these students experience some measure of success in this 'westen style' learning setting.

    The classroom experience of these students is examined to discover to what extent they have mastered purposeful learning behaviours which are necessary for successful classroom learning.

    This study employs some techniques used by Michael Christie in his thesis "The classroom world of the Aboriginal child", to compare and contrast the classroom perspectives and behaviours of these adults with the post-primary children of Christie's study.

    A survey of literature pertinent to the subject of education for Aboriginal adults indicate that the failure of programmes for Aboriginal adults is the result of the complex interaction of f actors both inside and outside the classroom. some if these factors are derived from he cultural milieu, others from the western classroom settings.

    Sociological research is then described, investigating the classroom world of the students at Nungalinya College. The data revealed that, despite little experience of formal schooling as children, the students had a good understanding of what active behaviours are required for learning to take place, However, in common with the children of Christie's study, the Nungalinya students did not use feedback from personal success and failure for on-going goal setting. Ritualism and retreatism were evident, but generally, the students had acquired a appropriate learning system for their settings.

    The methodology for this study is ethnographic, the data being derived from interviewing, projective testing, participant observation and survey.

    The implication of this study and the literature survey are discussed in depth in order to clarify what kind of programme best suits the learning needs of the students. The final chapter gives a sample unit of work which is consistant with the findings of this study. It is planned so that the students of the Women's Studies course are able to master the appropriate language training.

    Date of Award1986
    Original languageEnglish

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