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DOI

10.14221/ajte.2012v37n10.8

Abstract

This paper examines a new community education initiative, Community Action Support (CAS) that helps facilitate learning in Indigenous young people from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. CAS is an innovative partnership program between the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation and the University of Western Sydney. The core aim of the program is to create and communicate a positive and observable culture surrounding the significance of literacy for young people, in particular, Indigenous young people. The program is located within the secondary teacher-education degree at UWS. Four pre-service teachers engaged the participating school students in literacy and curriculum based activities ranging from creating newspaper articles and hosting drama workshops, to digital storytelling and screen printing. Video conferencing, wiki tools and other methods of communication also formed part of the process. The wide range of learning experiences ensured that student participants were challenged to use a diversity of literacy skills and communication techniques. In this article, pre-service teacher interview data is presented to show how universities such as UWS and educators have a responsibility to develop and support programs that provide Indigenous communities with alternatives to the standard curriculum. It also demonstrates how UWS pre-service teachers immerse themselves in the Indigenous culture and community, experiencing significant personal and professional growth.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2012v37n10.8