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What attributes make an alternate model of education for remote indigenous adolescents: A systematic literature review

journal contribution
posted on 31.05.2021, 03:58 authored by Amelia BrittonAmelia Britton, Michelle Redman-MaclarenMichelle Redman-Maclaren, Miriam HamMiriam Ham, Roxanne Bainbridge
Education provides opportunities for adolescents to make developmental gains. Remote Indigenous adolescents not engaged in education programs need alternate learning opportunities to reach developmental goals. This review identifies attributes that contribute to an alternate model of education within the existing literature and reports on the quantity and nature of evidence. Thirty-seven databases and grey literature were canvassed using strict search criteria. Analysis of papers was conducted to find the enablers of alternate models by identifying the conditions, strategies and outcomes the intervention produced. Papers were categorised according to their nature by Canada’s Hierarchy of Evidence and the Sanson-Fisher model. There was limited literature on alternate models of education for Indigenous adolescents in settings outside a school environment. Three papers were classified as descriptive and ten as intervention research. All papers were described as “emerging” and “promising” practices. The five attributes embedded within a model included 1) cultural connectedness and awareness; 2) being contextually designed; 3) fosters relationships with peers and adults; 4) specific teaching and learning strategies and; 5) holistic outcomes. The findings will contribute to the co-design of an alternate model of education for remote Indigenous communities. Gaps identified in the literature included examples of “best practice” models and highlighted the need for further research of innovative models that move from descriptive research to form an evidence base.






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Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


Cultural Warning

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.

External Author Affiliations

James Cook University

Author Research Institute

Centre for Research in Equity and Advancement of Teaching & Education (CREATE)

Era Eligible



Australian and International Journal of Rural Education