Does Pedagogy Make a Difference in Addressing Racial Inequality? An Australian Case Study
Australia the ‘fair’ country has invested heavily in the provision of quality public education for all students. In recent OECD data, Australian students continue to achieve high quality educational outcomes, but there is an increasing gap in educational inequality. This data also reveals that students who are most likely to achieve poor educational outcomes are likely to be from the following equity target groups: Indigenous, recently arrived refugees from African nations, and recent immigrants from the Samoan/Pacific Islands. Under successive left-leaning Labor goverments educational policies on social justice were formulated and implemented. In the 1990s in Queensland, for example, these policies focussed on distributive, procedural and recognitive justice. More recently, educators have suggested that responsibility for social justice outcomes needs to be placed firmly back onto schools and teachers. Increasingly, teachers are expected to become learning designers, learning managers and pedagogic innovators (productive, reconciliation, turn-around). Little work, however, has been undertaken on teacher and school capacities needed to achieve social justice outcomes. In this paper, we report on an interview study with key researchers and educators across three Australian states (Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia) in relation to addressing issues of educational inequality. We ask what works, why, and what needs to be done in the future to address the educational inequality gap?
Keywords: Racism, Educational Inequities
Dr. Alison Sammel
Lecturer, School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University
Prof. Parlo Singh
Head of School, Griffith University