Community capacity building: the Indigenous Australian context

McGinty, Sue (2005) Community capacity building: the Indigenous Australian context. In: Pandian, Ambigapathy, Chakravarthy, Gitu, Kell, Peter, and Kaur, Sarjit, (eds.) Innovation and Learning in Diverse Settings. Universiti Putra Malaysia Press, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia, pp. 7-16.

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[Extract] If we really want to change the participation patterns of Aboriginal people in schools, then schools have to change as well. (O'Brien. 2000, p. 29). There is no point in Aboriginal people having power to make decisions unless we make sure they have the knowledge, skills and capacity to make those decisions (Australia's only Aboriginal minister John Ah Kit. Reported in The Australian editorial of 16 May, 2002). Bob Collins (1999), in his report on Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory, Australia, gave, what he called, a wake-up-call to all involved 'to reverse a trend that is utterly destructive'. Poor literacy and numeracy achievement on the part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students continues to be an issue for Australian education. May O'Brien's call to schools to change is a recognition of the deficit discourse that blames the students for failure. She calls all stakeholders, teachers, parents, community, to take responsibility for educational outcomes. John Ah Kit identifies the upskilling of those stakeholders as a prerequisite to participation. Administrators and teachers need the capacity to engage with local communities to bring about the outcomes desired.

Community Capacity Building as a concept has its roots in a much older movement called Community Development. Throughout the 1960's and 1970's much was written about education and community collaboration, or the lack of it. This work came from writers such as Ivan Illich (1976) in his Deschooling Society, and Paolo Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1971). In the radical critiques of schooling it was recognised that education could be a radical tool for change if it was linked with community needs and desires.

Item ID: 7376
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-983-3455-15-7
Keywords: community capacity; Indigenous education
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Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2010 03:18
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939901 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 100%
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