Indigenous education policy has long emphasised the need to increase the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents and community members in local education. Yet attempts to increase involvement invariably raise important questions about the nature of the traditional Western educational model and its relevance to Indigenous communities. This paper represents an effort to contribute to the ongoing discussions of how best to increase parent and community involvement while insuring community relevance. While the ultimate focus remains on Indigenous education in Australia, the paper is an exploratory one and draws on the experiences of American Indian communities in the United States that are facing similar educational issues. The paper provides an historical overview of Indian education policy, a brief case study of an Indian school, and details two promising approaches to building parental and community involvement in Indian schools that could be adapted to the Australian context.
ISBN: 0 7315 1794 6