Engaging Aboriginal Families to Support Student and Community Learning

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Journal Article
Dispora, Indigenous and Minority Education, 2008, 2 (1), pp. 64 - 81
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Engaging families in school-related programs, such as family literacy programs, has been promoted as an effective strategy to assist students who might otherwise fail to achieve success in school. The authors in this article report on an action research initiative with an urban Australian government community school in a relatively socioeconomically disadvantaged area with a significant Aboriginal population. Drawing on a popular education framework, critical pedagogy, and a social practice theory of literacy, the authors develop insights about how strengthening family and community relations with schools can help all parties through developing practical approaches to family engagement and addressing disengagement and resistance to engagement with schools and learning. The authors conclude that educators, project workers, and researchers need to become more literate about the families and communities within and around a school, and make a consistent effort to reach out and include families and the local communities.
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