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The economics of Aboriginal education

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This paper analyses broad patterns in Australian Aboriginal affairs and indigenous education since colonisation. The influence of these patterns on educational initiatives over the last 20 years is explored in some detail. Discussion highlights the level of systemic bias and structural violence which continue to influence Aboriginal life chances and, by extension, educational achievement among indigenous Australians despite state and federal policies designed to enhance educational access and equity. Of particular concern is that such policies are not closely integrated with community development and appear to continue to press for assimilation rather than self-determination. As such, indigenous education appears to intensify levels of systemic frustration in Aboriginal communities. These issues are illustrated by an analysis of educational attainments among Aboriginal students in relation to those of other Australians and government expenditure.

Keywords: Australia; Education; Federal Government

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 1998

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