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Dr John Guenther

Research Leader, Education and Training

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students: Education systems and policy, Adult learning and vocational education and training, Boarding schools, Remote education, Families and children


  • Name: Dr John Guenther
    Position: Research Leader, Education and Training
    Email: john.guenther@batchelor.edu.au
    Qualifications: 2006 Doctor of Philosophy Charles Darwin University, Title: VET as a Tool for Regional Planning and Management: Case Studies from Australian Tropical Savanna Communities ,2003 Certificate IV in assessment and workplace training, NGT Tasmania, 1996 Diploma of Theology (Missiology) [ACT/ BCV], BCV Victoria, Lilydale, Vic., 1984 Bachelor of Applied Science (Applied Chemistry) TCAE, Launceston, Tas.
    Professional memberships and associations
    • Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA)
    • Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
    • Australasian Evaluation Society (AES)

  • RESEARCH INTERESTS

    Over the last 10 years John has conducted research and evaluation projects which have focused on remote contexts, particularly in the Northern Territory of Australia. A recurring theme in all his work is the importance of learning, whether it be for adults, young people or children. He is also interested in education systems and their impact on learning. In recent work on remote education systems a focus has been on the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems and their accompanying epistemologies, ontologies, axiologies and cosmologies.

    Understanding the interface between cultures in the ‘red dirt’ context of schooling in remote communities has also been a key concern. John prefers to use mixed methods approaches where the powerful combination of qualitative and quantitative data can be used for transformative purposes.

    John supervises post-graduate students who are concerned about issues related to education and its intersection with health and wellbeing, employment and economic participation, technology, culture, leadership and other socio-cultural issues.
  • Selected recent peer reviewed publications

    Guenther, J. (2015). Analysis of National Test Scores in Very Remote Australian Schools: Understanding the Results through a Different Lens. In H. Askell-Williams (Ed.), Transforming the Future of Learning with Educational Research (pp. 125-143). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
    Guenther, J., Disbray, S., & Osborne, S. (2015). Building on ‘Red Dirt’ Perspectives: What Counts as Important for Remote Education? Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 44(2), 194-206. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jie.2015.20
    Guenther, J., Halsey, J., & Osborne, S. (2015). From Paradise to beyond: Geographical constructs and how they shape education in the ‘bush’. . Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 25(3).
    Guenther, J., & McRae-Williams, E. (2015). The training and employment challenge of remote communities: Is collaboration the solution? Paper presented at the AVETRA 18th Annual Conference, Melbourne. 10 April 2015. Retrieved from http://avetra.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/50.docx
    Guenther, J., Osborne, S., Arnott, A., & McRae-Williams, E. (2015). Hearing the voice of remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander training stakeholders using research methodologies and theoretical frames of reference. Race Ethnicity and Education, 1-12. doi: 10.1080/13613324.2015.1110294
    Guenther, J., Milgate, G., O'Beirne, P., & Osborne, S. (2014). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aspirations and expectations of schooling in very remote Australian schools. Paper presented at the AARE Conference Proceedings, Queensland University of Technology Kelvin Grove Campus, Brisbane. 1-4 December 2014. Retrieved from http://www.aare.edu.au/data/publications/2014//data/2014_Conference/Full_papers/GUENTHER_14.pdf
    Guenther, J., & McRae-Williams, E. (2014). Does education and training for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lead to ‘real’ jobs? Evidence from the 2011 Census Paper presented at the AVETRA 17th International Conference, Surfers Paradise. 22-24 April 2013. Retrieved from http://avetra.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Abstract-72.pdf
    Guenther, J., & Galbraith, M. (2014). Learning from evaluations of school-family strengthening programs: Lessons for all. Evaluation Journal of Australasia, 14(2), 42.
    Guenther, J., Bat, M., & Osborne, S. (2014). Red dirt thinking on remote educational advantage. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 24(1), 51-67.
    Guenther, J., Disbray, S., & Osborne, S. (2014). Digging up the (red) dirt on education: one shovel at a time. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues (Special Edition), 17(4), 40-56.
    Guenther, J., Bat, M., & Osborne, S. (2013). Red Dirt Thinking on Educational Disadvantage. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 42(Special Issue 02), 100-110. doi:10.1017/jie.2013.18
    Osborne, S., & Guenther, J. (2013). Red Dirt Thinking on Aspiration and Success. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 42(Special Issue 02), 88-99. doi:10.1017/jie.2013.17
    Osborne, S., & Guenther, J. (2013). Red Dirt Thinking on Power, Pedagogy and Paradigms: Reframing the Dialogue in Remote Education. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 42(Special Issue 02), 111-122. doi:10.1017/jie.2013.19