Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-j5sqr Total loading time: 0.26 Render date: 2022-10-02T23:50:26.109Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Popular Education for Adult Literacy and Health Development in Indigenous Australia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 July 2015

Bob Boughton*
Affiliation:
School of Education, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, 2351, Australia
Get access

Abstract

The focus of this paper is adult literacy, and the impact this has on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individual and community health. It directs attention to those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and adults who have not benefited from the formal school education system, and who, as a consequence, have very low levels of basic English language literacy. Analysing data from a range of sources, I suggest that these people comprise as much as 35% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult population nationally, and a much bigger proportion in some communities and regions. Moreover, they are key to improving overall health outcomes in the population as a whole, because they are among the people most at risk. Drawing on research in countries of the global South over recent decades, the paper then suggests that one of the most effective ways to improve health outcomes and foster health development is through a popular mass adult literacy campaign. Popular education is not formal education, of the kind provided by schools, TAFEs and universities. It is “non-formal” education, provided on a mass scale, to people in marginalised and disadvantaged communities, as part of wider social and political movements for equality. The paper concludes that this is the most appropriate form of education to deal with the massive social and economic inequality at the heart of the social determinants of Indigenous health.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Arnove, R. F., & Graff, H. J. (Eds.). (1987). National literacy campaigns: Historical and comparative perspectives. New York & London: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Australian Commonwealth. (2007). The National Report to Parliament on Indigenous Education and Training 2005. Canberra, ACT: Department of Education, Science and Training.Google Scholar
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (2008). Adult literacy and life skills survey 2006, Summary Results. Canberra, ACT: Australian Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
Bell, S., Boughton, B., & Bartlett, B. (2007). Education as a determinant of Indigenous health. In Anderson, I., Baum, F., & Bentley, M. (Eds.), Beyond bandaids: Exploring the social determinants of Aboriginal health (pp. 3755). Darwin, NT: Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health.Google Scholar
Boughton, B. (2000). What is the connection between Aboriginal education and Aboriginal health? CRC ATH Occasional Paper Series, No. 2. Darwin, NT: Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Tropical Health.Google Scholar
Boughton, B. (2008, July). East Timor's national literacy campaign and the struggle for a post-conflict democracy. Refereed paper presented to the Australasian Asian Studies Association Conference, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Available via electronic proceedings, at http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/mai/asaa/bobboughton.pdf.Google Scholar
Boughton, B., & Durnan, D. (2008). Timor-Leste National Literacy Campaign. Third Evaluation Report to Minister of Education. Unpublished report to the Minister of Education.Google Scholar
Caldwell, J. C. (1979). Education as a factor in mortality decline: An examination of Nigerian data. Population Studies, 29, 259272.Google Scholar
Caldwell, J. C. (1986). Routes to low mortality in poor countries. Population and Development Review, 12, 171220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Caldwell, J. C., & Caldwell, P. (1995, September). The cultural, social and behavioral component of health improvement: The evidence from health transition studies. Paper presented to Aboriginal Health: Social and Cultural Transitions Conference, Northern Territory University, Darwin.Google Scholar
Dunbar, T., & Scrimgeour, M. (2007). Education. In Carson, B., Dunbar, T., Chenhall, R. D. & Bailie, R. (Eds.), Social determinants of Indigenous health (pp. 135152). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
Ewald, D., & Boughton, B. (2002). Maternal education and child health: An exploratory investigation in a central Australian Aboriginal community. Occasional Paper Issue 7. Darwin, NT: Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Tropical Health.Google Scholar
Gray, A., & Boughton, B. (2001). Education and health behaviour of Indigenous Australians: Evidence from the 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey (NATSIS). Occasional Paper Issue 3- Darwin, NT: Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Tropical Health.Google Scholar
Gray, A., & Smith, L. (1995, September). Is there a low road to Aboriginal health? Paper presented at the Aboriginal Health: Social and Cultural Transitions Conference, Northern Territory University, Darwin, Australia.Google Scholar
Kane, L. (2001). Popular education and social change in Latin America. London: Latin America Bureau.Google Scholar
Krai, I., & Falk, I. (2004) What is that learning for? Indigenous adult literacy practices, training, community, capacity and health. Adelaide, SA: National Centre for Vocational Educational Research.Google Scholar
Lind, A. (1988). Adult literacy lessons and promises: Mozombican Literacy Campaigns 1978-1982. Stockholm: University of Stockholm Institute of International Education.Google Scholar
Lind, A. (2008). Literacy for all: Making a difference. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
Lowell, A., Maypilama, E., & Biritjalaway, D. (2003). Indigenous health and education: Exploring the connections: A cooperative research centre for Aboriginal and tropical health project report. Darwin NT: Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Tropical Health.Google Scholar
Malin, M. (2003). Is schooling good for Aboriginal health? Occasional Paper Issue 8. Darwin, NT: Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Tropical Health.Google Scholar
Miller, C. (2005). Aspects of training that meet Indigenous Australians' aspirations: A systematic review of research. Adelaide, SA: National Centre for Vocational Education Research.Google Scholar
Nag, M. (1990). Political awareness as a factor in accessibility of health services: a case study of rural Kerala and West Bengal. In Caldwell, J., Findley, S., Caldwell, P., Santow, G., Cisford, W., Braid, J. & Broers-Freeman, D. (Eds.), What we know about health transition. The cultural, social and behavioural determinants of Health (pp. 356377). Canberra, ACT: Health Transitions Centre, Australian National University.Google Scholar
Northern Territory Department of Education. (1999). Learning lessons. An independent review of Indigenous education. Darwin, NT: Northern Territory Department of Education.Google Scholar
Pink, B., & Allbon, P. (2008). The health and welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2008. Canberra, ACT: Australian Bureau of Statistics/Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing.Google Scholar
Robinson-Pant, A. (2001). Women's literacy and health: Can an ethnographic researcher find the links? In Street, B. (Ed.), Literacy and development: Ethnographic perspectives (pp. 152170). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Rowley, K. G., O'Dea, K., Anderson, I., McDermott, R., Saraswati, K., Tilmouth, R., Roberts, I., Fitz, J., Wang, Z., Jenkins, A., Best, J. D., Wang, Z., & Brown, A. (2008) Lower than expected morbidity and mortality for an Australian Aboriginal population: 10-year follow-up in a decentralised community. The Medical Journal of Australia, 188(5), 283287.Google Scholar
Saggers, S., & Gray, D. (2007). Defining what we mean. In Carson, B., Dunbar, T., Chenhall, R. D. & Bailie, R. (Eds.), Social determinants of Indigenous health (pp. 120). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
Sandiford, P., Cassel, J., Montenegro, M., & Sanchez, G. (1995). The impact of women's literacy on child health and its interaction with access to health services. Population Studies, 49, 517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steele, T. (2007). Knowledge is power: The rise and fall of European popular education movements, 1848-1939. Bern: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
Tsey, K. (1997). Aboriginal self-determination, education and health: towards a radical change in attitudes to education. ANZ Journal of Public Health, 21(1), 7783.Google Scholar
UNESCO. (2005). EFA Global Monitoring Report 2006: Education for all - Literacy for Life. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
Weeramanthri, T. (1995). Aboriginal mortality in the NT: Can the concept of the health transition be usefully applied? Paper presented at the North Australian Statistics Workshop, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.Google Scholar
Young, M., Guenther, J., & Boyle, A. (2007). Growing the desert: Educational pathways for remote Indigenous people. Adelaide, SA: National Centre for Vocational Education Research.Google Scholar
6
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Popular Education for Adult Literacy and Health Development in Indigenous Australia
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Popular Education for Adult Literacy and Health Development in Indigenous Australia
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Popular Education for Adult Literacy and Health Development in Indigenous Australia
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *