The complexities of Aboriginal Self-Determination in the School Sector

PhD Thesis

Jetta, Cally. 2023. The complexities of Aboriginal Self-Determination in the School Sector. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.

The complexities of Aboriginal Self-Determination in the School Sector

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorsJetta, Cally
1. FirstA/Pr Ian Davis
2. SecondA/Pr Renee Desmarchelier
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages291
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

This project analysed the experiences and perspectives of Aboriginal educators within the school system (including my own) to develop a shared knowledge of what self-determination means and how it is understood and applied in a teaching and learning context. Collaboratively, the Aboriginal research participants and I explored the barriers and challenges to our self-determination as teachers in the mainstream school system. Specifically, this thesis promoted self-determination as the more just and effective way of addressing Indigenous educational disadvantage and offers a strengths-based approach as an alternative to popular deficit models. The research process was guided by Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and being and aligns with Indigenous research methodology and self-determination by privileging Indigenous voices and the use of narrative methods including autoethnography and yarning. These methods are deemed culturally appropriate and promote a conversational and collaborative approach to knowledge development that is both familiar and favourable to the Aboriginal participants. This thesis reveals that there are indeed strong commonalities in how Aboriginal educators define, perceive and experience self-determination in the school system; and provides insight into the nature, benefits, and challenges of Aboriginal self-determination within the school sector. The thesis also shares the findings of a research process centred on an Indigenous research paradigm and methodology.

KeywordsAboriginal, Indigenous, education, self-determination, decolonisation, Cultural interface
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 20204502. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsCollege for First Nations
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