The AEW Project: Professional Development for Teacher Aides in Remote Indigenous Communities

Ian Mackie, Bradly Shipway, Ric Dutton, Gary MacLennan


The purpose of this paper is to give a conceptual account of an approach which seeks to advance the professionalization of the Aboriginal Education Workers (AEW) and Teacher Aides (TA) in remote communities in Australia. We set out the current situation where the training and support offered to the AEW/TA is such that their potential to make a contribution to the education of Indigenous children is either underdeveloped or inaccessible. We then describe the roll out of a specifically designed set of modules that form part of a novel approach to the professional development of the AEW/TA, and go on to analyse the lessons that may be learned from early phases of the project. Our analysis draws upon Critical Realist theory (Bhaskar, 2016), the work of the media theorist Hans Magnus Enzensberger and Charles Leadbeater’s (2014) use of the concept of a cultural commons, and the emerging literature on frugal and inclusive innovation (George, McGahan, & Prabhu, 2012; Radjou, Prabhu, & Ahuja, 2012; Tiwari & Herstatt, 2012) .

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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