Welcome to Volume 51.2 of The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education. This is our second volume since our shift to being an open access journal. We are very pleased that AJIE has recently been accepted into the Directory of Open Access Journals and was awarded the DOAJ Seal for best practice in open access. DOAJ is an extensive index of diverse open access journals internationally and their aim is to increase the visibility, accessibility, reputation, usage and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, open access scholarly research journals globally. We are also excited that since the journal became open access in August 2022 there has been over 20,000 views of whole articles and over 24,000 views of abstracts on our new open access website.
This is a larger volume of AJIE than usual, and we thank the authors and reviewers for their contributions. You play a vital role in ensuring the quality of the journal. We would also like to thank Michelle James for her detailed and astute copyediting for the journal. Special thanks to Senior Publications Officer Sonia Nitchell for her continuing work on importing the large AJIE archive onto the new platform.
The first suite of articles in this volume focuses on the early childhood context with articles by Locke and Webb providing us with insights into the inclusion of Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in early education and care settings in the first paper and how Aboriginal educators integrated their cultural knowledge and experiences to develop Aboriginal children’s skills in the second. In a South Saami context, Kroik explores preschool teachers’ identity as linguistic role models by means of analysing their own descriptions of language learning. In Canada, Schroeder et al. demonstrate the importance of making curricula relevant to Indigenous children by including content that is culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate. The interrelationships between language, identity and culture from Māori kaumātua (elders both male and female) and whānau (parents and extended family members) from Aotearoa (New Zealand) is explored by Berryman et al.
The second suite of papers take us into the context of schools. Johnson and Flückiger explore the important role for Aboriginal Education Workers in remote Australian communities, while Goodall et al. draw on student and teacher memories of the early days of Indigenous-controlled adult education provider Tranby Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd. The paper by Guenther et al. analyses My School data for Very Remote Aboriginal schools, showing how the Remote School Attendance Strategy school attendance results compare with similar non-Remote School Attendance Strategy schools. Their findings raise ethical and accountability concerns about the Remote School Attendance Strategy, which they argue lacks evidence of attendance improvement, and which potentially causes harm. Whitau et al. also examine school attendance but in relation to Western Australian Aboriginal young women and the links between racism, teacher–student relationships, and peer connectedness, and how these were related to participant attendance and engagement at school. Moore et al. discuss the Whole of Community Engagement (WCE) initiative, which sought to identify barriers and enablers in Aboriginal students’ pathways to post-compulsory education in six remote communities in Arnhem Land and central Australia. They describe the features that led them to characterise the initiative and the remote community and school context as intercultural and complex. Also in relation to the Whole of Community Engagement initiative, Moore et al. propose an intercultural perspective as a refinement to the both-ways approach to remote education. Osborne et al. focus on aspirations of students, their families and communities at Nyangatjatjara College an independent Aboriginal school distributed across three campuses in the southern region of the Northern Territory. Macdonald and Gringart present a new measurement instrument, the Multi-Dimensional Student Perceptions of School Questionnaire (MSPSQ), validated with a moderate-sized sample of Indigenous and non-Indigenous secondary students in Western Australia.
The next suite of papers has an international focus with papers from Canada, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Brazil, and Tonga. Stavrou and Murphy explore tensions surrounding Indigenising school mathematics in a Western Canadian prairie province conducted with three Cree elementary school teachers while Denston et al. examine teachers’ perceptions and experiences of a collaborative case study to adapt a literacy approach originally designed for an Aotearoa (New Zealand) English-medium context. Ioris et al. explore the main trends and pending gaps related to indigenous education in Brazil while Fonua et al. shares the stories of 26 successful Tongan science learners who participated in talanoa (open discussion without an agenda) about their engagement, enjoyment, and success in secondary and university science education in Aotearoa (New Zealand).
The final papers in this volume shift to the university context with Hogarth exploring a small pilot study conducted at a Queensland university examining how academics perceive the inclusion of Indigenous Knowledges within institutional and professional contexts and initial teacher education programs. Forsyth et al. speak to the importance of employing Indigenous methodologies when conducting Indigenous research to improve dental and medical health outcomes for Indigenous peoples. Hook and Jessen reflect on the contentious nature of non-Indigenous academics teaching Indigenous Studies and draw on student survey data to illustrate the conflict between their pedagogic practices, student expectations and the structural impediments to their teaching aims. Smith et al. also provide a personal reflection on the higher education context by discussing the need to have institutional conversations about coloniality, institutional racism and white fragility within tertiary institutions. The final paper in this volume by Gibbs et al. explores the relationships between racism, cultural resilience, and educational engagement and academic outcomes for Aboriginal tertiary students. They highlight that cultural resilience and support is critical to Aboriginal student success within universities. Racism continues to be particularly important to address because, as the 2022 Australian Reconciliation Barometer recently highlighted, experiences of racial prejudice have increased for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the last two years and certainly there is much work needed to improve relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
We hope you enjoy reading the articles in this volume and hope the articles lead to further dialogue and discussion about Indigenous educational success both in Australia and internationally.
Bronwyn Fredericks, Martin Nakata, and Katelyn Barney
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Copyright (c) 2022 Bronwyn Fredericks, Martin Nakata; Katelyn Barney
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The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education is in the process of transitioning to fully Open Access. Most articles are available as Open Access but some are currently Free Access whereby copyright still applies and if you wish to re-use the article permission will need to be sought from the copyright holder. This article's license terms are outlined at the URL above.