Two Educational Imperialists Confess: The Imposition of a World Culture on the Warramungu People

By:
Dr. Colin Francis Baker,
Sandra Baker
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This paper seeks to clarify the experience of two Anglo-Australian teachers, who for the past five years, have been tasked to deliver an alien education to two similar small isolated Indigenous communities. Rockhampton Downs School (Wogayela) and Warrego School now both serve isolated Indigenous communities, 160 km and 50 km from Tennant Creek. They were founded to serve the interests of white pastoral and mining communities, but since the advent of Indigenous land rights, they now serve Indigenous communities. This colonial past continues to make it difficult to achieve a cultural fit. The communities in question represent possibly the only chance for the survival of Warramungu language and culture. The schools are principally creatures of 21st century global culture. The teachers are cultural mercenaries caught in the clash. The schools are required to teach to achieve national benchmarks in literacy and numeracy and follow a mainstream curriculum. There is some pressure from some community members to prepare children for the wider world but both schools face challenges to their relevance.


Keywords: Indigenous Education, First Nation, Indigenous-Global Culture Clash
Stream: First Nations and Indigenous Peoples
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Colin Francis Baker

Principal, Warrego School  NT
Australia

Colin Baker returned to teaching as a retirement job following a career in academic librarianship and the military. He has had considerable third world experience, including PNG and Solomon Islands. Since coming to Warrego as the principal/teacher (Warrego is an isolated one teacher school) he has developed innovative programs in an attempt to give his school contemporary cultural relevance.Colin Baker returned to teaching as a retirement job following a career in academic librarianship and the military. He has had considerable third world experience, including PNG and Solomon Islands. Since coming to Warrego as the principal/teacher (Warrego is an isolated one teacher school) he has developed innovative programs in an attempt to give his school contemporary cultural relevance.

Sandra Baker

Admin Officer & School Nurse, Warrego School     NT
Australia

Sandra has a background in clinical nursing, nursing administration, media management, conference and event management and change management. Sandra has worked in third world countries including PNG. She is currently the administrative officer and school nurse at Warrego school which is a very isolated one teacher school in the Northern Territory. Sandra also oversees the transition class and the computer classes.

Ref: H05P0235