Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers in Australian schools

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers are significantly under-represented in schools, comprising approximately 1% of the teaching community compared to Indigenous students (who comprise 5% of the total school student population).

In 2008 there were 1977 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers in Australian schools , an increase of nearly 500 teachers from 2001.

Approximately 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people graduate from Australian university schools of education each year.

Graph | Indigenous teachers, graduates and AIEWs 2003-10

Demographic research

The project research team will undertake a detailed analysis of existing cohorts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers, undergraduates and aspiring teachers in the first half of 2012.

The quantitative and qualitative research analysis will include, but not be restricted to, the following target groups, data and factors contributing to a successful career in teaching:

  • school students and adults aspiring to become teachers
  • learning achievement of school and undergraduate students
  • school students and adults who enter university in an education discipline
  • geographical factors and state/territory jurisdiction for aspiring, studying and practicing teachers
  • influence of previous family and community students and teachers as role models in the education workforce
  • school year level and specialisation of teaching workforce government and non-government schools
  • transitions and study pathways into the teaching profession
  • age and gender profiles
  • influence of additional specialist support or interventions (e.g. tutoring, scholarships)
  • ratio of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers to school student populations
  • attrition rates, causal factors and patterns during pre-service study and work
  • preparedness and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to undertake study and employment in teaching
  • patterns of career progression and professional networks.

Project researchers will work closely with the Australian Government,  school authorities, universities and other bodies to gain access to the most current and robust Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce data.