Post-compulsory education and training for Indigenous Australians

Date

1997

Authors

Schwab, Robert

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Publisher

Canberra, ACT : Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), The Australian National University

Abstract

There exists in Australia a significant tension between the nature and definition of government goals of education, which are substantially economic, and the essentially social educational goals of Indigenous people. This paper addresses those tensions as they relate to post-compulsory education. It begins with a depiction of findings from the first national survey of Indigenous people pertaining to levels of qualification, desires for further education, and preferred institutions for education and training. The paper then turns to an analysis of the economic and social tensions that have resulted from increasing economic rationalism in education, and explores three prominent economically-based education goals: the development of human capital, increased educational efficiencies and 'enhanced' outcomes. The conflict between these and a range of Indigenous cultural assumptions and practices are then examined. The paper closes with discussion of the policy challenges inherent in attempting to find a balance between the economic imperatives of government and culturally-based Indigenous educational goals.

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Type

Working/Technical Paper

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Access Statement

Open Access

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