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West, EG 2000, 'An alternative to existing Australian research and teaching models : the Japanangka teaching and research paradigm ; an Australian Aboriginal model', PhD thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright EG West 2000


I decided to write this thesis many years ago and in the process of ‘becoming’ a Palawa man I finally understood the global agenda between black and white Australians and the direct actions required to attain a traditional form of Aboriginal democracy. I share in this understanding in this thesis. Mind you I share with trepidation because the options are very existential to the prevailing discourse. However a doctoral thesis will add to the body of knowledge not simply to confirm existing theoretical discourse or to leave this discourse un-challenged. Therefore this thesis is about the critical mass of cultural variables pertaining to teaching of Australian Indigenous peoples and the conduct of meaningful research. Its primary intent is to offer an alternative to the inappropriate methodologies that currently apply in the generic areas of pedagogy and research (in their broadest sense). In my opinion at present both these areas are pathologically dominated by Western thought. The idea of change and alternative paradigms is addressed in the introduction and this thesis is not intended to achieve anything more than a hearing of these options. This is why the discourse of this knowledge terrain in this thesis is so diverse and so demanding of the reader. The core notion of this discourse is the Japanangka Teaching and Research Paradigm. The Japanangka Teaching and Research Paradigm has as its core the articulation of eight dimensions or sub-paradigms. These are the quality of life dimensions: Cultural, Spiritual, Secular, and the other five: Intellectual, Political, Practical, Personal and Public dimensions. These eight constitute the sum of human experience relevant to the daily lives of Aborigines and as such are key categories to the unravelling of the seemingly imponderable mystery of “learning journey paths” so critical to the success of our students in formal Western education activities.