The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 233–251 | Cite as

Curriculum and learning in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education: A systematic review

  • N. HarrisonEmail author
  • C. Tennent
  • G. Vass
  • J. Guenther
  • K. Lowe
  • N. Moodie


One of the aims of a systematic literature review (SLR) is to test the weight of historical perception against the reality of research and practice. A second aim is to identify approaches to knowing in schools (defined as curriculum) that might help us to identify possibilities for improvement in Indigenous student engagement and achievement in Australian schools. Given that education is representational practice, this SLR explores various representations of the world and how these might be taught in schools in ways that support “successful learning” for Indigenous students. We focus on how the curriculum might allow for multiple stories to be told, and how it can support the multiplicity of social and cultural identities. The question for this segment of the SLR is, how does curriculum govern learning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Australia? A comprehensive search of the research literature produced over the period 2006–2017 highlights how the Australian government’s focus on numbers contrasts radically with the ways in which many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their parents conceptualise the goals of education.


Curriculum Country Goals of education Success Knowledge Representation 



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Copyright information

© The Australian Association for Research in Education, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary EducationBatchelorAustralia
  5. 5.University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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