Exploring Indigenous Literacy Learning and Social Justice Values with Pre-Service Teachers in APY Lands

Presented by
Dr Cindy Brock, Ms Erica Sharplin, Dr Garth Stahl, Dr David Caldwell, Mr Bruce Underwood, Mr Ian Thomson & Dr Fenice Boyd.

Friday 4 September, 2.30pm – 4.00pm 

APY LandsC1-60 Magill Campus

Currently, there exists about a two-and-a half-year gap between non-Indigenous and Indigenous literacy rates in Australia.  In July 2014, the Australian government invested $22 million dollars toward a Direct Instruction-Explicit Instruction Literacy Program to be implemented in Indigenous contexts.  Direct Instruction is depicted as an ‘effective instruction’ solution to the multiplicity of problems which impact the education of students from low socio-economic backgrounds.  However, when skills-based approaches to literacy are the sole or primary means of pedagogy, children from non-dominant backgrounds (Gutierrez, 2008) may not learn higher-order literacy practices associated with success in school as well as career and life opportunities (Gee, 2012; Kalantzis & Cope, 2012). 

Our research project examines how UniSA pre-service teachers working in APY lands negotiate this recent curriculum policy mandate in light of their own evolving understandings of quality literacy instruction in classrooms.  Our collaborative case study research project investigates how these educators navigate relationships between literacy-related theory, policy and practice in a diverse cultural and linguistic contexts.

Areas of study and research

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