Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Due to the high turnover of teaching staff in remote schools, the long-term sustainability of educational initiatives that enhance Indigenous student's learning is a major concern. This article presents a study of a remote Indigenous school (Ischool) situated in Queensland. Ischool has changed its approach to leadership, particularly the distribution of power and authority within the school context, to address this concern. The focus is on building the capacity of Indigenous staff. It is a holistic and communal approach that is culturally inclusive of Indigenous ways of being and operating. The approach actively ensures that power and authority, and roles and responsibilities, are shared between Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff. Data were collected in one-on-one interviews with Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants involved in the change process. A grounded methodological approach was utilised using open coding to break down data into distinct units of meaning. The results reveal that the Indigenous community of Ischool were more committed to promoting and sustaining education initiatives that improve student learning when: (a) school leadership structures were inclusive of Indigenous voices and Indigenous ways of relating; (b) power and authority within the school context was shared, and (c) Indigenous staff were included in professional development opportunities that foster collaborative classroom partnerships and legitimise their own knowledge of their culture and community.

School/Institute

School of Education

Document Type

Journal Article

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