Publication Details

Eady, M. J. (2016). The community strength model: A proposal to invest in existing Aboriginal intellectual capital. In Education, 22 (1), 22-41.


Indigenous communities have strengths and wisdom beyond Westernized culture’s recognition and understanding. However, there continues to be significant difference in literacy and life skills between Indigenous and non-Indigenous adults. In this article, I reflect on a project that investigated how technology could best support adult literacy learners in an Australian Indigenous community. The project provided insights into how local people perceive the concept of literacy and the significant role it plays in critical thinking and quality decision making. The aim of my research was to create a set of principles to support adult literacy learners, which could be interpreted and applied on a global level. From this project, a new theoretical framework—the Community Strength Model—emerged. The cyclical model serves as a tool to assist researchers with conceptualizing the collective process of learning within an Indigenous culture, where being true to Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous ways of learning is imperative to successful outcomes. It also provides a structure to facilitate respectful research, which can be adapted for Indigenous communities globally. Keywords: Indigenous culture; theory; synchronous technology; literacy; Indigenous ways of knowing