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Leading indigenous education in a remote location : reflections on teaching to be "proud and deadly"

By Angela Marie Douglas


This thesis is a critical reflection of the author’s time as a Principal of an Indigenous state school from 2003-2004. The purpose is to reassess the impact of her principalship in terms of the staff, students and Community change that affected learning outcomes at the school and to reanalyse to what actions and to whom positive changes could be attributed. This thesis reflects and identifies, in light of the literature, strategies which were effective in enhancing student learning outcomes. The focus of this thesis was the Doongal State School*, its students, staff and facilities. The author will attempt to draw out theoretical frameworks in terms of: (1) what changed educationally in Doongal State School, (2) what seemed to be important in the Principal’s role, (3) the processes that took place, and (4) the effect of being non- Indigenous and a female. Overall, the author undertook this critical reflection in order to understand and embrace educational practices that will (a) lessen the gap between the academic outcomes achieved by Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, and (b) enhance life choices for Indigenous children. The findings indicate that principal leadership is critical for success in Indigenous schools and is the centrepiece of the models developed to explain improvement at Doongal State School. School factors, Principal Leadership factors, Change factors and factors relating to being a non-Indigenous female principal, which, when implemented, will lead to improved educational outcomes for Indigenous students, have evolved as a result of this thesis. Principal Leadership factors were found to be the enablers for the effective implementation of the key components for success

Topics: leadership, Indigenous education, professional learning, Indigenous community partnerships, Aboriginal, pride, self worth, high expectations, challenging behaviour
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
Year: 2009
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