The power of words: bias and assumptions in the aboriginal and Torres Strait islander education action plan

Article


Hogarth, Melitta. 2017. "The power of words: bias and assumptions in the aboriginal and Torres Strait islander education action plan." The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education. 46 (1), pp. 44-53. https://doi.org/10.1017/jie.2016.29
Article Title

The power of words: bias and assumptions in the aboriginal and Torres Strait islander education action plan

ERA Journal ID11099
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorHogarth, Melitta
Journal TitleThe Australian Journal of Indigenous Education
Journal Citation46 (1), pp. 44-53
Number of Pages10
Year2017
PublisherUniversity of Queensland
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1326-0111
2049-7784
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/jie.2016.29
Web Address (URL)https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/australian-journal-of-indigenous-education/article/power-of-words-bias-and-assumptions-in-the-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-education-action-plan/AF2E9C077BAF75F911C9BC8AC500C017
Abstract

This paper argues that “genuine” engagement and consultation is required where Indigenous voice is included within the policy development process for “true” progress to be achieved. With the ever increasing engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the decision making processes of Indigenous education, it is anticipated that there will be provision of opportunities for better outcomes and a greater acceptance of the policy within community (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2014). This paper is derived from a larger project where the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan (Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs, 2011) was critically analysed using Fairclough’s (2001) Critical Discourse Analysis framework and Rigney’s (1999) Indigenist Research Principles. Within this study, the underlying assumptions and bias identified within the policy and how it positions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were articulated. The major findings that emerged from the data included a) the homogenous grouping of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, b) the maintenance of the prevalent dominant ideology within policy, and finally c) the expectation by the power elite of increased engagement and connections by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples without consideration of the detrimental effects of past policies and reforms.

KeywordsIndigenous education, Indigenous education policy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan, Indigenous methodologies, Indigenous Critical Discourse Analysis
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020450299. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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