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Learning respect: A case study of Indigenous community engagement in VET at Wugularr

Anderson, Stuart C. (2009). Learning respect: A case study of Indigenous community engagement in VET at Wugularr. Learning Communities: international journal of learning in social contexts,(December):36-61.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Learning respect: A case study of Indigenous community engagement in VET at Wugularr
Author Anderson, Stuart C.
Journal Name Learning Communities: international journal of learning in social contexts
Publication Date 2009
Issue Number December
ISSN 1329-1440   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 36
End Page 61
Total Pages 26
Place of Publication Darwin, NT, Australia
Publisher Social Partnerships in Learning Research Consortium - Learning Research Group, Charles Darwin University
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Indigenous learners in remote communities comprise a large proportion of the learners engaged in Vocational Education & Training (VET) in the Northern Territory. Given the high participation rates, course and unit level completion rates remain low. Understanding what constitutes good community engagement is essential to any consideration of VET delivery and assessment practice that seeks to meet the expectations of remote community members. This paper reports the findings of a case study of indigenous community engagement by Charles Darwin University (CDU) among indigenous learners in the community of Wugularr in south-eastern Arnhem Land. Whilst the majority of participants expressed satisfaction with the quality of their teaching and learning experiences, in particular the performance of teaching staff, they were disappointed with the university's approach to relationship building, the continuity and consistency of VET delivery and its associated student support. Community members expressed a desire for teaching staff to consistently return to the community and develop ongoing long term relationships which include active support and follow up of learners who did not attain module or course level completion. The study's findings point to the university’s need to consistently embed good community engagement practice in the negotiation, delivery and evaluation of VET in indigenous communities; and highlights the importance of developing meaningful longer term relationships with indigenous communities that facilitate the achievement of community negotiated outcomes based on mutual benefit to the community and university alike. This paper discusses the implications of these to regional universities including CDU that seek to serve remote indigenous communities.
Additional Notes This article has been extracted from Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, December 2009 'Indigenous Community Engagement Edition'
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