Inclusive, colour-blind, and deficit: Understanding teachers' contradictory views of Aboriginal students’ participation in education

Article


Weuffen, Sara, Maxwell, Jacinta and Lowe, Kevin. 2023. "Inclusive, colour-blind, and deficit: Understanding teachers' contradictory views of Aboriginal students’ participation in education." The Australian Educational Researcher. 50, pp. 89-110. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-022-00517-4
Article Title

Inclusive, colour-blind, and deficit: Understanding teachers' contradictory views of Aboriginal students’ participation in education

ERA Journal ID20008
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsWeuffen, Sara (Author), Maxwell, Jacinta (Author) and Lowe, Kevin (Author)
Journal TitleThe Australian Educational Researcher
Journal Citation50, pp. 89-110
Number of Pages22
Year2023
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN0311-6999
2210-5328
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-022-00517-4
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13384-022-00517-4
Abstract

This paper contributes evidence-based scholarship to how teachers understand the value of Aboriginal student-focussed programmes and how discourses of Indigeneity appear to influence those views. Interviews with n = 22 teachers across n = 3 secondary school sites in New South Wales highlighted teachers’ understanding of Aboriginal programmes as primarily contributing to students’ behavioural and academic improvement. The interviewed teachers spoke positively about Aboriginal students’ current academic achievements and prospects for their bright futures as graduates, albeit from within deficit and colour-blind discourses. Utilising Moodie’s Decolonising Race Theory framework, teachers’ juxtaposing beliefs resonate with existing decolonising education research which indicates a performativity of cultural inclusion through adherence to settler-colonial practices, while at the same time, an intellectual desire to move away from the legacy of Australia’s contentious colonial past.

KeywordsAboriginal education; Aboriginal programmes; Australian schooling; Decolonising race theory; Indigeneity; Indigenous methodologies
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020450209. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary education
390203. Sociology of education
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of New South Wales
School of Education
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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