Accessibility to schooling on small islands: An exploratory study of local options and opportunities on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Bob Teasdale, Jennie Teasdale

Abstract


Families living on small islands face limited options for the school education of their children. This exploratory study on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, considers some of the issues they face and the choices they make. It is based on informal, semi-structured interviews with parents, grandparents and children. Results show that all informants want students to be successful at school, gaining the life-skills, knowledge, and maturity to succeed in vocational or university education, and obtaining satisfying employment. While some believe that schooling on the Island is inadequate for achieving these goals, they also recognize the unique benefits of living on the Island. They, therefore, want the best of both worlds: education that equips their children for success in a global world, along with a deep grounding in local values, including the interdependence that exists within and between extended families, and the sense of security and belonging their children gain from family and community networks. Most families we interviewed believe they have been able to achieve a functional syncretism between the global and the local, albeit in a variety of different ways.


Keywords


isolated schools; small island schools; accessibility to education

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