Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Aboriginal educator awarded inaugural King's College Fellowship

UniSA Prof Lester- Irabinna Rigney, has been awarded a prestigious fellowship through a new collaboration between the University of South Australia and the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies at King’s College London.

Rigney is the inaugural recipient of the Aboriginal and Contemporary Australian Studies Fellowship, which he will take up at King’s College (KCL) in 2018.

The partnership, formed in May this year, supports fellowships for UniSA researchers in Europe’s leading centre for Australian studies. Fellowships are in the broad area of Aboriginal and Contemporary Australian Studies, and will serve to promote deeper understandings of Australian history, culture and contemporary society across the UK and Europe.

Prior to taking up the fellowship, Rigney will fly to London next month to give the inaugural David Unaipon Lecture at The College on Monday 18 September.

His topic, Decolonizing Pacific Schools: Toward an Australian Culturally Responsive Pedagogy? will focus on poor educational outcomes for Aboriginal children and the need for new teaching methods.

“Despite Australia promising to fix the ‘curriculum alienation’ and teaching methods, learning outcomes for Aboriginal children have not improved since 2008,” Rigney says.

“The 2017 Closing the Gap report shows that Australia has failed on six out of seven key measures to bridge the gap between Indigenous children and other Australians, including child mortality, early childhood education, school attendance, employment, and students’ reading and numeracy skills.

“The great academic divide between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal student success at school is an urgent international problem in the Pacific yet there has been no comprehensive review of the teaching methods. This is despite a growing body of evidence that shows culturally responsive teaching improves academic success for Indigenous people in countries such as the US, Canada and New Zealand.”

Rigney’s lecture will examine how culturally responsive teaching can be implemented in Australian schools with high student diversity, drawing on the experiences that students bring to school classrooms.

A descendant of the Narungga, Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri peoples of South Australia, Rigney has worked in Aboriginal education for more than 20 years. Coincidentally, David Unaipon was also a Ngarrindjeri man.

He is based at UniSA’s Centre for Research in Education and was formerly Dean of Indigenous Education at the University of Adelaide.


19 Feb 2019 | India
Breakfast and lunch for better learning News Image

Breakfasts at school have had a great effect on learning outcomes and it looks like the same goes for lunch according to an investigation of 120 million Indian students. Read More

18 Feb 2019 | Melbourne
Ivanhoe university campus at Latrobe commences News Image

Ivanhoe Grammar School has opened its  University Campus for Year 9 at La Trobe University. It offers a year-long program designed to expose students to the self sufficiency of university life. Read More

18 Feb 2019 | National
Scrapping HECS debt for remote teachers welcomed News Image

Experts have endorsed the announcement that the government will cancel the uni debts of teachers who commit to working for four years in remote indigenous communities and say more must be done to attract locals to teaching. Read More

18 Feb 2019 | National
New $15k Reading Australia Fellowship for Teachers of English and Literacy open News Image

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has launched the new $15,000 Reading Australia Fellowship for Teachers of English and Literacy, part of almost $2m it awards every year. Read More

14 Feb 2019 | National
Yamaha’s 60K Great Start Grant – applications open News Image

Yamaha Music Australia’s Great Start Grant is a nationwide initiative with a very generous $60,000 worth of musical instruments given to the winning school and more. Read More