Promoting the persistence of Indigenous students through teaching at the Cultural Interface

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Studies in Higher Education, 2017, 42 (7), pp. 1158 - 1173
Issue Date:
2017-07-03
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© 2015 Society for Research into Higher Education. The promise of higher education remains elusive for many Indigenous students in Australia. To date, institutional efforts to improve the persistence and retention of Indigenous students have been largely piecemeal, poorly integrated and designed to remediate skill deficits. Yet, market-led expansion of Australian higher education is driving curricular reform and demands for accountability and quality. Despite this, very little is known about how teaching and pedagogy can be used to support the learning and persistence of Indigenous students. In this context, the paper provides a reconceptualization of current debates and positions that are currently bound up within the limitations of questionable binary divides and oppositions, for example, educational psychology/sociology, transmission/critical or decolonial pedagogies and Indigenous/Western Knowledge. Nakata's concept of the Cultural Interface is mobilized to acknowledge some of the nuances and complexities that emerge when Indigenous and Western knowledge systems come into convergence within the higher education classroom.
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