Challenges of Conducting Systematic Research in Australia's Northern Territory

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early childhood literacy, Indigenous research, Northern Australia

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This paper explores the challenges of conducting systematic research, using our experiences of conducting a study to evaluate the effectiveness of ABRACADABRA, an online tool for early childhood literacy instruction as the contextual framework. By discussing how the research team resolved such perennial issues as high teacher turnover, low or erratic Indigenous student attendance, difficulties with collecting reliable data on student outcomes, and the time and funding required to travel long distances, we show how rigorous research might still be conducted, to counter the usual proffering of such challenges as reasons why experimental research should not be attempted. Without minimizing the dimension of the logistical and funding challenges facing the conducting of experimental research in regional and remote settings, we end with an appeal that such work be prioritized, lest already disadvantaged education settings suffer further neglect in terms of national research priorities.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Asia Pacific Journal of Education, v. 34, issue 1, p. 36-48