"You Can't Have One without the Other" Transactions between Education and Wellbeing for Indigenous Peoples
O'Donnell, Kim Michelle
Peppard, Judith Louise
Tur, Simone Ulalka
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We start with a story from one of our authors that tells about the possibility of change. The need for change is highlighted by a short review of the dire situation in health and education for many Indigenous peoples. We argue firstly for a recognition of the importance of transactions, or reciprocal relations, among elements of complex systems such as education and health. We review existing literature on the education–health nexus and consider the applicability of extant research findings to the situations of Indigenous Australians. We then consider contemporary issues in education, such as constructivism and self-regulated learning, with a view to considering how these might inform recommendations for change. A number of areas where change could be effected are then discussed. The first of these involves re-conceptualisation of the multi-level system that influences outcomes in education and wellbeing. Change is also required in the theoretical perspectives used to inform the educational research agenda, in consideration of where, and with whom, educational efforts might be made. We consider how recent research on conceptual change might provoke new locations and imperatives for educational action. Finally, we recommend areas for future research such that ensuing practices are founded on good quality knowledge. The themes in Uncle Badger’s story are central to this paper. We do need to look after our country and the people in it. The urgent need to look after people is made very clear when we consider the statistics related to the health and education of Indigenous groups. We do need to work together, not only as individuals, but also as a social system. In addition, like both Kim and Uncle Badger in the above story, as a nation we need to be prepared to learn and to have the courage to change
Copyright 2007 the authors and the Cooperative Research center for Aboriginal Health. Published version of the paper reproduced here with permission from the publisher.