What do we know about community engagement in Indigenous education contexts and how might this impact on pathways into higher education?

Smith, James A., Larkin, Steve, Yibarbuk, Dean, and Guenther, John (2017) What do we know about community engagement in Indigenous education contexts and how might this impact on pathways into higher education? In: Frawley, Jack, Larkin, Steven, and Smith, James A., (eds.) Indigenous Pathways, Transitions and Participation in Higher Education: from policy to practice. Springer, Singapore, pp. 31-44.

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Community engagement is often cited as a critical component of working with Indigenous communities in both Australia and other countries. Ideally, this involves engaging in ‘bottom-up’ approaches that scope, identify and subsequently respond to community needs and aspirations. Community engagement is usually participatory and developmental in nature. It is often used as a means to shape policy and program development, scope research approaches and support enhanced service delivery in a range of settings, including the education sector. However, the physical, social, cultural, economic and political contexts in which community engagement occurs can be different. As such, there is no definitive approach to what community engagement both ‘looks’ and ‘feels’ like within different Indigenous education contexts. This chapter systematically explores what we already know about Indigenous community engagement, and how this relates to Indigenous education, and more specifically, Indigenous higher education contexts in Australia. We argue that there are four key factors that can impact on pathways into higher education for Indigenous students, which include ‘redefining community engagement from Indigenous standpoints’; ‘appropriately resourcing Indigenous community engagement activities’; ‘continuing to build an evidence base to learn from recent Indigenous community engagement investments’ and the need to ‘move beyond the rhetorical language used in many policy documents and frameworks.’ We conclude by suggesting that improvements in the quality and quantum of Indigenous community engagement work occurring in higher education in Australia will ultimately enhance opportunities for successful Indigenous pathways and transitions into university.

Item ID: 49359
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-981-10-4062-7
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This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.

Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2017 01:45
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education @ 30%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4502 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education > 450204 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander technical, further, continuing and community education @ 40%
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390301 Continuing and community education @ 30%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development @ 40%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939901 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 30%
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