This impressive book is founded on very good scholarship and the knowledge gained from a career studying and working with a number of Indigenous communities. The true strength of the book relates to its capacity to give life to the story as it unfolds through the personal testimony and the history of communities involved. The way they wrestled variously with integration and assimilation is equally fascinating. The style of writing is lucid and driven by a passionate concern for justice. The approach is critical and perceptive.
Professor Anthony Edwards, Liverpool Hope University, UK.
This is an excellent book. Raymond Nichol does a very good job of providing relevant applications to facilitate the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge and pedagogies into education and development in Australia and Melanesia. They are intelligent suggestions that deserve to be put to the test of practice. Overall, I was impressed by this comprehensive and coherent work. I am particularly familiar with the Melanesian material used and can state clearly that is both interpreted and handled appropriately. Finally, stylistically it is a joy to read.
Professor Tom O’Donahue, School of Education, University of Western Australia.
This is a fascinating account of traditional socialisation and Indigenous forms of learning in Australia and Melanesia. It draws from rich ethnographic, historical and educational material.
There has never been a greater need for a socially and historically informed, yet critical account, of the mismatch between traditional ways, realities of life in Indigenous communities, villages and enclaves, and the forms of education provided in schools.
Raymond Nichol, a specialist in Indigenous education and pedagogy, surveys the links, too often disparities, between ethnographic detail of life ‘on the ground’ and the schooling provided by nation states in this vast region. Most importantly, he explores and suggests ways community developers and educators, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, may work to bridge the gaps in social rights, educational and economic development. This is relevant for all Indigenous communities, their survival and development.
Many vexed issues are discussed, such as race, ethnicity, identity, discrimination, self-determination, development, and relevant, effective pedagogical, learning and schooling strategies.
Dr Raymond Nichol is Head of Social Science Education and Co-ordinator International in the Faculty of Education, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. He is an anthropologist and teacher educator. His many publications in the fields of education and social science include Socialization, Land, and Citizenship among Aboriginal Australians: Reconciling Indigenous and Western Forms of Education, Lewiston, NY: Edward Mellen Press, 2005. This is a follow-up, comparative extension and update to that book.