The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 297–318 | Cite as

A systematic review of pedagogies that support, engage and improve the educational outcomes of Aboriginal students

  • Cathie BurgessEmail author
  • Christine Tennent
  • Greg Vass
  • John Guenther
  • Kevin Lowe
  • Nikki Moodie


This review analyses studies that identify pedagogies to support, engage and improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student outcomes. Some studies focus on pedagogies to support and engage, while others describe pedagogies that are designed to improve engagement, attendance and academic skills. The role of context emerges as a key theme, particularly in remote areas. In larger studies, Aboriginal students are often a subset of a larger student group, included because of socio-economic status and achievement levels. Key findings indicate a disconnect between practice and outcomes where links to improved outcomes are by implication rather than evidence. Further, definitions and detail about pedagogies are mostly absent, relying on ‘common understandings’ of what pedagogy means. This review highlights that most of the research identifies effective pedagogies to engage and support Aboriginal students rather than to improve their educational outcomes.


Pedagogy Aboriginal education Indigenous Systematic review Teaching 



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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

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

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