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Editorial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 July 2019

Bronwyn Fredericks
Affiliation:
Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement), The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Martin Nakata
Affiliation:
Indigenous Education and Research Centre, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
Katelyn Barney
Affiliation:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Abstract

Type
Editorial
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2019 

We are very pleased to bring you Volume 48 of The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education. This volume brings together Indigenous education research in both Australia and New Zealand and challenges us to consider the roles of universities and schools in supporting the needs of Indigenous students as well as improving the capabilities of professionals who work with Indigenous students. The first suite of articles in this volume focuses on the higher education context. We begin with Nakata et al. providing us with some principles that can guide strategies for change in Indigenous undergraduate student support practices in Australian universities. Drawing on data gathered from an Australian Research Council study into Indigenous academic persistence in formal learning across three Australian universities, they revisit ‘the gaps’ that exist between the performance of Indigenous students and all other domestic students and the role that student support services have to play in improving retention and completion rates of enrolled Indigenous students. The second paper by Bullen and Roberts explores transformative learning possibilities within the Indigenous studies learning environment and notes that students benefit from tutors’ ability to develop rapport and classroom community, which can lead to greater capacity for student critical reflection which in turn promotes transformative learning possibilities. Transformative learning is also a focus of Ryder et al.’s paper, which discusses the development of a research questionnaire to measure attitude change in health professionals after undertaking an Aboriginal health course. They demonstrate how the questionnaire could be used to compare and determine effective teaching methodologies in Aboriginal health and cultural safety curricula. Also in the context of heath curriculum, Britt et al. explores a postgraduate clinical psychology training programme's path towards becoming more bi-culturally responsive and how the learning from this have been applied to the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The second suite of papers has a focus on primary- and high-schools. Whitinui examines preliminary findings of a study carried out in two English-medium primary schools (years 1–6) located in the Otago-Southland regions of Aotearoa, New Zealand, which aims to explore the educational aspirations whānau Māori (Māori family) have for their children, and how to build better relationships for teaching and learning. Presenting a micro-analysis of a year 2 maths lesson, Watts et al. explore the challenges predominantly Aboriginal English-speaking children face in learning maths. They examine the ways in which the children's home Aboriginal English and Standard Australian English were used in a lesson and where differences between these two varieties appeared to impact their understanding of the concepts being taught. Heyeres et al. explore an evaluation that aims to strengthen and improve the capacity of school staff to support the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous students at boarding schools. Finally, the theoretical framework of Nakata's ‘cultural interface’ is used by Price et al. to critically (re)examine the important role of Aboriginal education workers in Australian schools. We hope you enjoy reading the papers in this volume.