Best Practice in Designing and Implementing Community Based Training: Lessons from the Road

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Learning is a continuous, cultural process – not simply a series of events. It values and transcends the classroom and the workplace. Access and opportunities to learn should be available to anyone, anywhere and at any time (Rosenburg 2001).
In the wake of the Rudd Government’s apology to Indigenous Australians for past injustices, addressing systemic blocks to improving opportunities and outcomes for Indigenous Australians has emerged as an issue of national importance. This paper seeks to address key blocks in the implementation of language and literacy training in remote communities that meet Indigenous aspirations of training as well as funding agency requirements.
It draws the experiences of implementing language and literacy programmes in remote communities over the past 20 years and dares to evoke imagery of a model that is engaged in community processes; which links and creates bridges to learning opportunities. It will profile successful programs and discuss the essential elements which contribute to this achievement. The roles of industry, program partners and mentoring by and for Indigenous learners will be discussed as key elements in successful program design.
The paper provides alternative ideas for models that build and invest in social capital alongside program delivery and discuss practical implications for pedagogy and practice, policy and funding and research.


Keywords: Indigenous, Community Engagement, Program Design and Development
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Assoc. Prof. Ruth Wallace

Educational Researcher, Senior Lecturer
Social Partnerships in Learning Research Consortium
School of Education, Charles Darwin University

Darwin, NT, Australia

Ruth Wallace has extensive experience in innovative delivery of vocational education and training (VET) programs in regional and remote areas across Northern Australia. She’s a Senior VET Lecturer and researcher, with particular expertise in VET practice development, learning communities, literacies and flexible learning. She an educational researcher with the Social Parternships in Learning Research Group, Charles Darwin University, and has undertaken research into the links between identity and involvement in post-compulsory schooling. Ruth has also undertaken research into flexible learning, action learning and developing effective materials and assessment for marginalized students. She is currently undertaking her PhD and establishing a VET practice development learning community.

Lorraine Sushames

Contracts Manager, Senior Lecturer
Language and Literacy Division, Charles Darwin University

Darwin, NT, Australia

Over the past 12 years Lorraine has managed a range of contracts for externally funded programmes on behalf of the Charles Darwin University, including those that are federally funded initiatives. Each of these projects has been implemented to strengthen the capacity of individuals to participate more effectively in society and to access or progress in employment. Project participants have included Indigenous people from urban, regional or remote communities and more recently East Timorese nationals. Lorraine has also been involved in a range of research projects aimed at identifying and addressing language, literacy and numeracy barriers in specific sectors of the northern Australian region.

Ref: L09P0688