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John Christopher Guenther

John Christopher Guenther
Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, Darwin, Australia · Faculty of Tertiary Education and Research

PhD

About

190
Publications
60,704
Reads
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1,150
Citations
Citations since 2016
101 Research Items
899 Citations
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Introduction
John Guenther is the Research Leader for Education and Training with Batchelor Institute, based at Casuarina in the Northern Territory. His research interests relate to aspects of schooling and adult learning with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and training.
Additional affiliations
July 2016 - present
Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
Position
  • Research Leader, Remote Education and Training
June 2011 - June 2016
Flinders University
Position
  • Principal Investigator
Description
  • Working with the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation
February 2006 - June 2011
University of Tasmania
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Sessional lecturer
Education
September 2002 - September 2006
Charles Darwin University
Field of study
  • Vocational Education

Publications

Publications (190)
Article
Full-text available
What is regenerative learning in Australian higher education? This paper addresses the intersecting crises of climate, species loss and injustice; often called a conceptual emergency. We tackle the problem of disciplinary compartmentalisation, preventing integration of important related concepts. The particular case is separation of the Australian...
Article
Full-text available
Our past shapes our present. However, do Australian universities understand the ways historical discourses continue to shape them? Provoked by the findings of our empirical study implemented in Western Australia’s Kimberley region in 2018-2019, we conducted a critical text analysis of recent and past policies to seek historical explanation. As a re...
Article
Full-text available
For many remote Aboriginal Australian students, periods of time during their secondary education are spent living away from home at a boarding school. While financial, political and community support is burgeoning for boarding models that provide scholarships, sports programs or accommodation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, very...
Article
Policy analysis can be useful for learning about ‘what works’ in policy. Contemporary policy studies literature highlight that such learning is influenced by power relations in government that shape our ways of knowing the world. This paper offers a critically reflexive narrative account of power relations present during Indigenous higher education...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report provides findings and recommendations from a three year evaluation of the Nawarddeken Academy, a small homeland school in western Arnhem Land.
Article
The concept of policy ‘success’ has been subject to much contestation. In the Indigenous higher education setting, Indigenous (and non-Indigenous) scholars have brought attention to the relevance of experiential knowledge to understanding the effects of power and race on policy, including how success is theorised. This paper aims to interrogate the...
Chapter
While most of the Australian population now has access to high-speed broadband internet and is making increasing use of the opportunities it creates for education, remote work, telehealth, and social networks, people who live in remote parts of the country often find themselves digitally excluded. The reasons for exclusion are in part related to th...
Article
‘The numbers speak for themselves’ is a phrase often linked to statistics supporting claims about the success (or otherwise) of policies. Quantitative data are usually viewed as objective and somehow exempt from the same critique that qualitative data faces. QuantCrit theory challenges these assumptions by considering how structural racism impacts...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
‘Literacy’ is often seen as a direct enabler for adults to gain access to a range of individual and social outcomes: including but not limited to, economic participation, social cohesion/capital, health and wellbeing, identity, wellbeing and cultural sustainability. The simple causal logic for these outcomes might look something like this: being li...
Article
Full-text available
Rural, regional and remote (RRR) communities and industries in Australia cannot currently produce or attract the workforce needed to survive, making skills and qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) increasingly important. Yet student engagement in STEM education in RRR schools remains low, with limited numbers of...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we draw on the example of rural education research in Australia to highlight how place-consciousness in research is an ethical concern. In discussing this issue as an ethical concern, we are referencing the broader ethical responsibility around valuing people, places, communities, lived experiences, and the implications for researc...
Chapter
Boarding schools have played an important role for much of Australia’s colonised history. But in recent years attention has shifted to the role of boarding schools particularly for rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The Northern Territory Government’s 2014 Review of Indigenous Education (The Wilson Review) supported bo...
Chapter
Educational research and public policy comment are often framed around notion of binaries and social construction that reference an implicit norm. For the purposes of this edition, important binaries include advantage/disadvantage, centre/periphery, and rural/urban. Similarly, terms such as ‘rural’ and ‘remote’ are often socially constructed with r...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluations are often focused on assessing merit, value, outcome or some other feature of a program, project, policy or some other object. Evaluation research is then more concerned with the particular rather than the general-even more so, when qualitative methods are used. But does this mean that evaluations should not be used to generalise? If it...
Article
Full-text available
Australian and International Journal of Rural Education Across Australia, COVID-19 has certainly disrupted our lives. For many researchers it has caused us to push the pause button on our activities and rejig our timelines, our methods and our ethics approvals to suit the changed conditions. As an educational researcher in the Northern Territory,...
Article
Over recent years, considerable effort has been put into increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) participation in higher education. While there are signs that enrolments are increasing, the sustained engagement and successful completion of higher education remains challenging, particularly in remote locations. With this in...
Article
Full-text available
In our earlier work on generalizing from qualitative research (GQR) we identified our two-decade struggle to have qualitative research outcomes formally “listened to” by policy personnel and bureaucratic systems in general, with mixed success. The policy sector often seems reluctant to acknowledge that qualitative research findings can be generaliz...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we draw on the example of rural education research in Australia to highlight how place-consciousness in research is an ethical concern. In discussing this issue as an ethical concern, we are referencing the broader ethical responsibility around valuing people, places, communities, lived experiences, and the implications for research...
Article
Despite wellbeing being critical for individuals and communities to thrive in life and succeed in education, there is little research that investigates how Indigenous Australian youth attending universities conceptualise wellbeing. The purpose of this research was to empower the voices and agency of Indigenous youth attending higher education insti...
Research
Full-text available
Guenther & Osborne, (2020) in their critique of the Flexible Literacy for Remote Primary Schools Programme, assert that Direct Instruction (DI) has done nothing to improve English literacy in schools that have been part of the program. Their findings show that a before and after comparison of schools using the program shows no improvement, and a co...
Article
This critical systematic review of Australian research literature provides insights into the aspirations of Indigenous communities to collaborate with schools in establishing local Indigenous language and cultural programmes. This systematic review investigates the body of Australian research into the cultural, social and educational impacts on tho...
Article
Guenther and Osborne's (2020) article ‘Did DI do it?’ raises concerns about the outcomes of a programme designed to improve literacy for First Nations students in remote schools. A critique of the article challenges the methods and findings. In this response, the authors respond to the criticism.
Article
Based on an evaluation of the inDigiMOB project, auspiced by First Nations Media Australia, this article examines the role of a programme designed to improve digital inclusion for people living in town camps and remote communities of central Australia. Increasingly, Australians are expected to use technology to access health, government, utility, a...
Article
Full-text available
The authors of the article ‘Did DI do it? The impact of a programme designed to improve literacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in remote schools’ respond to a critique of their analysis of work.
Article
Full-text available
‘First know your students’, is a well-known saying in teaching. But do Australian universities really know their students? In this paper we present findings from research conducted in remote and very remote Australia where Aboriginal higher education students and educators were asked about their learning and teaching needs, and their views on thing...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report describes outcomes of First Nations Media Australia's inDigiMOB program, Year 3.The program, funded by Telstra aims to increase digital inclusion in remote parts of the Northern Territory.
Article
Full-text available
The term ‘choice-less choice’ in education arises from the ethical dilemma where parents are left with no option other than one they do not want to choose. In this article, we draw particularly from David Mander’s (2012) use of the term, where he applied it to First Nations students from Western Australia. In Australia, choice-less choice applies t...
Article
Full-text available
In 2018, Australians Together, an organisation committed to promoting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Australia, commissioned research on a trial programme designed to improve teachers’ confidence teaching the Australian Curriculum’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priori...
Article
‘Education is the key’ is often used as a metaphor in remote Australian First Nations communities to indicate the importance of learning to achieve some measure of socio-economic advantage—education is seen as a vehicle for advancement. First Nations people have enthusiastically bought into education and training vehicle. High school completion dat...
Article
Full-text available
Many recent policy documents have outlined the challenges of delivering high-quality education in remote First Nations communities and proposed that boarding schools are one important solution. These documents have influenced the increasing uptake of boarding options and there has been considerable public investment in scholarships, residential fac...
Article
Full-text available
This article critically examines definitions of policy ‘success’ in the context of historical Indigenous higher education policy in the Northern Territory (NT), Australia. We begin by summarising applications of the often-used but arbitrary, rarely-critiqued terms ‘policy success’ and ‘what works’. The paper chronologically articulates what ‘policy...
Article
Over the 10 years of ‘Closing the Gap’, several interventions designed to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have been trialled. In 2014 the Australian Government announced the ‘Flexible Literacy for Remote Primary Schools Programme’ (FLFRPSP) which was designed primarily to improve the literacy outcomes of students...
Article
Improving Indigenous students’ literacy is a major priority area for the Australian Government, receiving significant funding to address below benchmark English literacy standardised test results. Despite this, recent benchmark tests suggest Indigenous students continue to achieve well below the national average. This systematic review discusses pe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Blog based on a presentation to the AARE Conference, Brisbane 2019, https://www.aare.edu.au/blog/?p=4797
Article
This paper reports one part of a broader Aboriginal Voices Project that has been undertaken by 13 Australian researchers bringing together 10 systematic reviews on Aboriginal School Education. The extent of collaboration and engagement between school and community leaders is important to influence joint decision-making and required to attain lastin...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Child Friendly Alice is a community collaboration facilitated by Communities for Children – Anglicare NT, Strong Kids Strong Centre – Red Cross, Connected Beginnings and Larapinta Child and Family Centre – NT Department of Education which aims to ensure every child has the best possible chance in life to grow up healthy and strong. The collaboratio...
Preprint
Full-text available
In our earlier work on generalising from qualitative research (GQR) (Falk & Guenther, 2007; Guenther & Falk, In Press; Guenther & Falk, 2019), we identified our two decade struggle to have qualitative research outcomes formally ‘listened to’ by policy personnel and bureaucratic systems in general. The policy sector commissions a large amount of res...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, the authors debunk a long-held myth that generalisation is primarily the domain of quantitative research. Based on a review of modern and historical approaches to generalisation, they argue that generalisation from qualitative research (GQR) can be achieved, not through a process of self-justification, but through defensible and rigo...
Preprint
Full-text available
This blog article challenges the conventional thinking that Year 12 completions will help achieve parity economic participation for remote Aboriginal students.
Technical Report
Download the report here: https://austogresources.s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/EDU+assets/PD184+BIITE+Report_web_FA.pdf Australians Together's Professional Learning Workshops (PLW) aim to deepen teachers' understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures and current contexts and increase their confidence to emb...
Article
This most ambitious series of systematic reviews of the literature (SRL) associated with the field of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school education brings together nine academics from six Australian higher education institutions, to review over 10,000 papers. The SRL arose from the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sch...
Article
School systems and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have long acknowledged the levels of social, cultural and epistemic conflict that has historically existed between teachers and schools, and Aboriginal students, families and their local communities. This relationship is both symptomatic and causal of the broader and highly complex field of...
Article
This review analyses studies that identify pedagogies to support, engage and improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student outcomes. Some studies focus on pedagogies to support and engage, while others describe pedagogies that are designed to improve engagement, attendance and academic skills. The role of context emerges as a key theme, par...
Article
Full-text available
Editorial for the special issue of the Australian and International Journal of Rural Education 29(1), Rural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education .
Article
One of the aims of a systematic literature review (SLR) is to test the weight of historical perception against the reality of research and practice. A second aim is to identify approaches to knowing in schools (defined as curriculum) that might help us to identify possibilities for improvement in Indigenous student engagement and achievement in Aus...
Article
The ‘Aboriginal Voices’ project is a consortium of researchers invested in seeking long-term solutions to the many and varied issues that have been identified as factors contributing to the underachievement of Indigenous students in education across Australia. The Aboriginal Voices systematic review project established an agreed methodology and pro...
Article
Education for Australian First Nations students living in remote communities has long been seen as an intractable problem. Ten years of concerted effort under Closing the Gap and related policy initiatives has done little to change outcomes beyond small, incremental improvements. Programmes and strategies promising much have come and gone, and most...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report details the findings of an evaluation of 'Suicide Story', a suicide prevention program developed by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents findings from the year 2 evaluation of the inDigiMOB program, funded by Telstra. The program was designed to improve digital inclusion, particularly for people living in remote parts of the Northern Territory. The intent of the program is reflected in its four main objectives, to: 1) Address critical barriers to the take up and...
Article
Boarding schools have been increasingly championed in strategies to move closer to educational equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. However, there is a significant lack of research and evidence on the implications of the boarding environment for Aboriginal students, families and communities. This paper presents a study of an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Over the last 10 years of 'Closing the Gap' considerable public investment has been made into programs designed to improve outcomes for First Nations students, particularly those who live in 'remote' communities. Some programs have targeted teaching and learning, or academic performance and attendance, or transitioning students into boarding school...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The 'education is the key' mantra is often used as a metaphor in remote First Nations communities to indicate the importance of learning to achieve some measure of socioeconomic advantage. It is fair to say that First Nations people have bought into education and training vehicle with enthusiasm. The Year 12 completion data coming out of Closing th...
Article
In Australia, boarding schools and residential facilities for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) students have long been part of the educational landscape. Policy settings are paying considerable attention to boarding schools and residential colleges as secondary schooling options for First Nations students, particularly f...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Centring Anangu Voices involved a 2 year research process working with students, familes, staff and directors of an Independent Aboriginal School in the south of the Northern Territory. The work sought to document how education might strengthen aspirations for young people. The work featured a first language methodology and a collaborative art piec...
Chapter
Full-text available
The field of research on “generalizing from qualitative research” (for convenience now referred to as GQR) is quite recent. It stems from an era which could be characterized as the “discourse of self-justification” when disclaimers about not generalizing from qualitative research were considered mandatory. Within this discourse of self-justificatio...
Article
Schooling for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in remote or ‘Red Dirt’ communities has been cast as ‘problematic’, and ‘failing’. The solutions to deficit understandings of remote schooling are often presented as simple. But for those who work in Red Dirt schools, the solutions are not simple, and for education leaders positioned betw...
Article
Full-text available
The number of Indigenous people enrolling in and completing higher education courses in the Northern Territory slowly continues to climb. Since the first policies supporting the Australian Government’s self-determination policy that encompassed training of Indigenous teachers in the Northern Territory, Charles Darwin University and Batchelor Instit...
Presentation
Full-text available
This presentation was given to a Boarding Australia forum as a keynote address in Darwin on 30 May 2018.
Article
In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people score poorly on national mainstream indicators of wellbeing, with the lowest outcomes recorded in remote communities. As part of a ‘shared space’ collaboration between remote Aboriginal communities, government and scientists, the holistic Interplay Wellbeing Framework and accompanying surve...
Article
The 2014 Wilson review of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory recommended boarding school models as the preferred secondary education option for very remote Aboriginal students. This study considers boarding uptake by Aboriginal students from the Central Land Council region of the Northern Territory. An examination of boarding programs a...
Research
Full-text available
Article examines the outcomes of boarding through social, human and identity capital lenses
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper is part of a series of systematic reviews presented at AARE in 2017.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Increased focus and attention has been paid in recent years to providing remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with access to high quality schooling opportunities. Often, this requires attendance at secondary schooling away from their hometowns or communities, through accessing boarding schools or residential programs. The stated in...
Article
Full-text available
Current policies that guide Indigenous higher education in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia focus on the importance of achieving ‘outcomes’. These policies include the Universities Australia (UA) Indigenous Strategy 2017-2020, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 2015 and the NT Department of Education’s A S...
Chapter
Full-text available
Pre-publication version: https://www.routledge.com/The-Relationality-of-Race-in-Education-Research/Vass-Maxwell-Rudolph-Gulson/p/book/9781138501072#
Technical Report
Full-text available
In 2005, the CLC Community Development Unit was set up to work in partnership with Aboriginal people to direct their own resources to initiatives that both maintain their Aboriginal identity, language, culture and connection to country and strengthen their capacity to participate in mainstream Australia through improving health, education and emplo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The term ‘red dirt thinking’ was coined by researchers who were part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation’s (CRC-REP) Remote Education Systems (RES) project. The researchers, who were particularly interested in remote schools asked: “What would education look like if it was grounded in the red dirt context of remote...