Australian engineering educators' attitudes towards Aboriginal cultures and perspectives



Publication Details

Goldfinch, T., Prpic, J. K., Jolly, L., Leigh, E. & Kennedy, J. (2017). Australian engineering educators' attitudes towards Aboriginal cultures and perspectives. European Journal of Engineering Education, 42 (4), 429-444.


In Australia, representation of Aboriginal populations within the engineering profession is very low despite participation targets set by Government departments, professional bodies and Universities. Progressing the Aboriginal inclusion agenda within Australian Engineering Education requires a clearer understanding of engineering educators' preparedness for increased numbers of students from this non-traditional cohort. This research stems from a recently completed project that explored Aboriginal perspectives in engineering education and proposed a model for embedding perspectives in curricula. Nine engineering academics were interviewed to explore attitudes towards Aboriginal perspectives in engineering and the viability of the proposed model. Results of the interviews indicate efforts to embed Aboriginal perspectives are starting from a small base of knowledge and experience. Individuals' motivations and values indicate that there is significant support for improving this, but that efforts can be hampered by conceptions of Aboriginal perspectives that do not consider how Aboriginal knowledges may change engineering itself.

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