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The Case for Change

A review of contemporary research in Indigenous education outcomes

The Case for Change by Suzanne Mellor
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On behalf of the members of the Advisory Committee to ACER, I am pleased to provide the foreword for The Case for Change: A review of contemporary research on Indigenous education outcomes. We welcome such important research. Research in the area of Indigenous Peoples has always been an emotional issue. Politically the Indigenous community has long held the view that we have been extensively researched for little outcomes. Indeed we have often claimed that we are the most researched group in the world. We have felt that many people, mostly non-Indigenous, have studied us and in the process produced many publications that have helped them advance their academic qualifications, professional standing and careers. These activities have not necessarily helped us advance as Indigenous communities and peoples. The view that we are the most researched group is very debatable and only true in part. Many non-Indigenous people have indeed advanced their qualifications by doing research on us. We as an Indigenous community have only recently begun to produce people qualified at the postgraduate level, therefore becoming trained and available to become involved in research. While our community still thinks that we are over-researched, the Advisory Committee and I do not agree, and we call for a substantial increase research in the area of Indigenous education. This review so excellently and objectively done by Suzanne Mellor and Matthew Corrigan, supports the contention that much more focused and longitudinal research is needed. We would add that it is essential that such research be done in conjunction with, and inclusive of, Indigenous people – both for the purpose of capacity building for our people, but more importantly for Indigenous knowledge to be incorporated. This review of outcomes for Indigenous students is very detailed and raises many issues that we hope will spark controversy and debate.
Australian Council for Educational Research; January 2004
70 pages; ISBN 9781417588626
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Title: The Case for Change
Author: Suzanne Mellor; Matthew Corrigan