Rains Quoted 'Whose Knowledge Counts Who Decides ' Essay

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Rains quoted 'Whose knowledge counts? Who decides?' (Rains 2002, p.320). IS A PARTICULAR TYPE OF KNOWLEDGE PRIVILEGED IN AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY? Answer question reference academic concepts ( find research): • Ethnocentrism • Enlightenment rationality • Othering -splitting, entails a normal (") a deviation (").


The Australian society is very complex and it is important for a person to look at it from a series of perspective in order to gain a better understanding of why it promotes particular attitudes. Many Australians are likely to put across feelings related to relaxation, even in the face of danger, and this is why the community has experienced success throughout history. In spite of this relaxation, Australia promotes values related to hard-working and determination, as it is generally focused on encouraging forward-moving attitudes, regardless of the situation. While it would seem that such thinking is unlikely to cause any damage, the truth is that it tends to bring on ignorance at times as society only focuses on assisting particular groups. Australia's cultural diversity plays an important role in generating information concerning knowledge-related matters.

Knowledge as seen from an Australian perspective

Knowledge is one of the most important concepts in the Australian society and this influenced schools, students, parents, and whole communities in getting actively involved in accumulating constructive information. The Melbourne Declaration was designed to reform the educational system by providing innovative thinking that covers a broader community of young Australians. "In the 1989 Hobart Declaration and the 1999 Adelaide Declaration, the State, Territory and Commonwealth Education Ministers committed to working together to ensure high-quality schooling for all young Australians" (Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians). The reformed educational system acknowledges that globalization has led to a series of changes around the world and that Australians need to be prepared to deal with these changes and assist their country in being successful.

As the world experiences progress Australians are provided with a more complex educational system. It is meant to address needs related to social, cultural, and religious diversity as the country interacts more and more with neighboring cultures, taking into account that it is essential for its young people to be able to have access to healthy and rewarding futures. The Australian educational system is thus currently focused on encouraging young people to access secondary education and to continue further education if they want to experience positive results later in their lives. The Australian Government is basically meant to make sure that all Australian school-age children have access to educational institutes providing highest quality education.


The Melbourne Declaration emphasizes that "Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence; and that all young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens" (The Shape of the Australian Curriculum). While the system promotes the concept of equality, it is difficult and almost impossible for teachers to refrain from using diverse methods to put across ideas related to gender roles.

Boys in many Australian schools are taught to take on particular attitudes with regard to their role as males in a patriarchal society. While the media world and society as a whole bombard them with information concerning gender roles, they also come across such information in schools. Children in schools directed at promoting a limited set of values are typically provided with the feeling that it is essential for them to employ an ethnocentric approach in trying to understand society in general (Garas & Godinho 75).

The Labor Government has increased funding for schools with the purpose of enabling these institutions to be better prepared in teaching young people concerning the attitudes they need to employ in order to be happy with themselves. While this is a laudable act, "the underlying historic pattern of ongoing government funding for schools remains -- the Australian Government provides the majority of its funding to non-government schools, and state and territory governments provide the majority of their funding to government schools" (Harrington 1).

The Australian Government's attitude toward the educational system appears to be biased, as it tends to focus on non-governmental institutions instead of treating the social order as a whole. A form of 'Othering' seems to dictate actions performed by the government, taking into account that it does not provide fair treatment for all young Australians. The Schools Assistance Act 2008 is meant to reinforce ideas related to the importance of funding for non-governmental educational institutes. Even with this, "Australian Government general recurrent per student funding for non-government schools is based on a measure of need" (Harrington 8). This means that the government is nonetheless concerned about providing all students with equal opportunities.

While it is difficult for the Australian public to avoid coming across situations involving discrimination, conditions have improved significantly in recent years. Young Australians are currently provided with a series of opportunities meant to support them as they try to become educated.

Indigenous Knowledge

Australia has a long history of experiencing problems accepting aboriginals as an active part of its community. Although conditions have been critical up to 1967 as Aboriginals experienced trouble receiving their deserved respect, matters have changed in recent years as the authorities encourage more positive attitudes toward natives. It is only safe that ethnocentrism has been a dominant ideology in Australia up until the second half of the twentieth century with white individuals holding power in the state and putting across discriminatory attitudes toward other groups (Armitage 21).

Even with the fact that much has changed concerning attitudes toward aboriginals, one can still observe the legacy of harsh discrimination in Australia in earlier years. "In 1997 the Chevron oil company (through its Papua New Guinea subsidiary Chevron Niugini Limited) engaged in negotiations with the Queensland state government in Australia to construct a pipeline that would bring natural gas from the Kutubu oil fields and other neighboring gas fields to a terminus in Gladstone, Queensland, by way of Townsville" (Rumsey & Weiner 1).

The Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Act 2000 was incorporated in the educational system in order to ensure that Indigenous students are provided with proper education. "This funding has been replaced by a single per student payment -- Indigenous Supplementary Assistance" (Harrington 7). This makes it possible for each particular student to be treated on a more personal level as the authorities focus on providing him or her with resources that he or she needs in order to be able to integrate.

Pro-educational attitudes Although the Australian educational system has a series of flaws, it has a forward-moving attitude and it is responsible for assisting millions of individuals in gaining a more complex understanding of society as they struggle to integrate it. Science of Learning programs are an active actor in helping young Australians learn more effectively. These centers "will have a transformational impact on learning, bringing significant and differential advantage to Australia through an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach" (Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council).

Science Learning Centers are likely to be more efficient because they promote the belief that an educational institute needs to do more than to simply put across information meant to develop knowledge in young Australians. These systems focus on trying to come up with a complex understanding of how individuals accumulate knowledge throughout their existence and possible problems that they might encounter as they try to do so.

The Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council is among the bodies that are actively involved in coming up with innovative methods to educate young Australians. These centers gather information from a series of sources and focus on the impact that individuals who have attended particular learning institutes have on the environment that they live in. This group is generally meant to demonstrate that it would be essential for individuals to be analyzed for several years after they graduate in order to understand the exact effect that education has on them and on society as a whole.

By trying to invent new methods of understand how knowledge is assimilated, the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council is virtually attempting to create more effective learning environments. Teachers are not the only ones that need to focus in order to improve learning environments, as neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists can also play an active role in this matter.

The authorities are in charge of devising and promoting ideas with regard to the educational system. Even with the fact that they focus on providing the most effective educational environments possible, it is important for them to acknowledge that it is currently impossible to provide perfect education. This is why reforms keep on appearing as the best solution possible at a given time.


There are a series of types of knowledge privileged in the Australian society, even with the fact that the authorities would prefer to have a single one. This is largely because education needs to be personalized to fit every individual's needs and because this is a very diverse country. It…[continue]

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