Today I listened to a recent radio interview with author Kate Grenville, talking about her visit to remote indigenous community near Katherine called Manyallaluk. I was fortunate enough to visit that part of the NT earlier this year, and Manyallaluk is indeed looked as wonderful as she describes it. Unfortunately I didn't get to see the school in action.
Within an idyllic community Grenville paints an challenging picture of primary education, acknowledging the disconnect between the standard curriculum the school teaches to, and children who begin primary schooling with little or no spoken English. She talks about the oral nature of indigenous language, and the significant mental shift to working with written language. Perhaps most fascinating to me (having looked at the nature of identity as a linguistic construction), she talks about the fact that the stories written by these students were completely devoid of the word 'I'.
As a result of her visit, Grenville wrote an article that has been published in the latest edition of Meanjin, which I will have to pick up a copy of. I actually stumbled across the interview listening to ABC Radio National's EduPod podcast, a great collation of stories on education that is well worth subscribing to if you are interested.