At the recent 2011 Research Conference “Indigenous Education: Pathways to success” hosted by the Australian Council for Educational Research, Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney (Dean of Aboriginal Education, Director of the Wilto Yerlo Centre at Adelaide University) presented a talk on “Indigenous education: Creating classrooms of tomorrow today.”
Here are some salient points:
“Indigenous students live in a multi-tasking, multifaceted, technology-driven, diverse, rapidly changing world which is far removed from the world faced by most of their teachers at the time they entered adulthood. 21st century learning requires new spaces that are culturally safe, coherent and consistent. They do not override Indigenous cultures, but draw upon them as a source of learning foundation on which to build new digital learning structures.”
“We have little knowledge of what parents of Indigenous children think about digital education or their needs and aspirations that an ICT education can provide into the 21st century. We have limited knowledge of how to integrate technology into non-English speaking Aboriginal communities. We also remain unaware of its cultural, ethical, moral and sociopolitical consequences.”
The Research Conference 2011 focused on what we can learn from research about creating and sustaining positive educational outcomes for Indigenous students. Presenters highlighted the conditions, contexts, curriculum, pedagogy and practices that establish pathways to success for Indigenous students.
The conference proceedings are available here.