Edu 10006 During this unit you have been challenged to think deeply about Indigenous perspectives. Through this process, you might have been challenged, confronted or had your ideas and beliefs reinforced. This task requires you to assess historical and contemporary events or issues and analyse how it has affected current educational contexts for Indigenous people. You will also discuss and critique Australian Indigenous education and perspectives. Your understandings so far will play an important role in how you approach this task. Your essay will explore the current educational context for Indigenous people and how historical events and issues have impacted on this context. You will need to respond to the below statement: The impact of historical and contemporary events and issues demonstrates the importance of embedding Indigenous perspectives into Australian education.” Discuss. You will need to support your discussion with literature and specific examples of how embedding Indigenous Perspectives occurs in Australian Early Years settings and/or Primary classrooms. Your answer should include: What is the current educational context for Indigenous people? How have both historical and contemporary events and issues impacted on this context? Why is it important to embed Indigenous perspectives in education? Specific examples of how Indigenous perspectives can be included in either an Early Years setting or a primary classroom. Literature to support your discussions. You may draw on documents and resources such as Closing the Gap, Australian Curriculum cross curriculum (Links to an external site.) priorities, the curriculum or Indigenous Education documents from your state or territory, documents from your local school/Early Childhood centre or others. Essay writing tips It will be essential to use supporting readings and resources to support your essay. Refer to the assignment marking rubric to ensure you have understood the expectations of the assignment and how it will be marked. This is an academic essay and should be written in third person. Use a brief introduction, clear paragraphs for each new idea and a concise conclusion. An essay plan or mind map before you start writing will help—even if you only record the key points and plan the order they should go in, plus the content of the introduction and conclusion. Make sure you proofread your essay carefully before submitting it. Poor grammar and typing errors detract from the quality of your work. Make sure you acknowledge all sources used to develop your ideas, both by citing them in your essay and including them in the reference list at the end of your essay. Citing references adds strength to your arguments and avoids plagiarism. Throughout your teaching journey, you will be required to use your relevant the Australian Curriculum. (ACARA) Criteria Needed Knowledge and understanding of the current educational context for Indigenous people Accurate and complex knowledge and understanding of the current educational context for Indigenous people has been demonstrated Knowledge and understanding of how historical and contemporary events and issues impact on the educational context for Indigenous people Accurate and complex knowledge and understanding of how both historical and contemporary events and issues impact on the educational context for Indigenous people has been demonstrated. Knowledge and understanding of Indigenous perspectives and the importance of embedding these into Australian Educational contexts (Early Years and/or Primary classrooms), including specific examples. Accurate and complex knowledge and understanding of Indigenous perspectives and the importance of embedding these into Australian education has been demonstrated. Examples of how Indigenous perspectives in either an Early Years setting or a primary classroom are thoughtfully selected. Draws upon a discerning selection of documents and resources. The submission reads clearly and coherently and is reflective of the academic writing style. There are no spelling and grammatical errors throughout. APA referencing style has been followed accurately. Hi please reference all links with the reading resources. in APA style. In yellow is reading references to added 4.3 Definitions of advocacy and activism While advocacy and activism are terms that are often used interchangeably, they do have different meanings. An activist is a person who makes an intentional action to promote or bring about social, political, economic or environmental change. An advocate is an individual or group who ‘pleads the cause of another’ person or group (McNaughton, 2003, p. 294). Leadership and ideology both play an important role in change. Leaders act as spokespersons and recruit others to gain momentum while ideology can provide a source of inspiration and hope. Examples of activism and advocacy decorative image First Day of Mourning (1938) In 1924, Fred Maynard founded the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA). The AAPA held well-publicised meetings, organised street rallies and petitions, and campaigned using the media and letter-writing to draw attention to and fight against the injustice and inequality faced by Indigenous Australians. It was a significant beginning to a series of movements to reclaim economic, social and political rights for Indigenous Australians. Civil rights activism In Australia, a significant period of activism and advocacy for Indigenous rights, began in the 1950s when Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians came together to: campaign for equal rights for Indigenous Australians, and abolish laws which deprived Indigenous Australians of civil liberties. The following are key examples of activism and advocacy in relation to civil rights for Indigenous Australians: What can you do? Language: know what language is discriminatory and why. Resources: know what resources are available and how/who should use them. Make contact with local Indigenous people including elders. Reflect on what is tokenistic and what is authentic in education. Develop your own Acknowledgement to Country and consider how would you feel about using an acknowledgement at events of meetings within your educational setting? Essential reading Read Chapter 5 The ‘silent apartheid’ as the practitioner’s blindspot (PDF 301 KB) (Links to an external site.) (Rose, 2012, pp. 64-80) from the eText. Use these focus questions to guide your reading: How does Rose define the ‘silent apartheid’ in education? What does he identify as its seven hallmarks? What are the effects of a deficit model of teaching? What does Rose identify as the two significant aspects ‘central to the education praxis’ of silent apartheid? What is a fringe dweller? The first reading below discusses the disillusionment of some Indigenous people over the YES vote in 1967. Kath Walker, who had long been an activist for Aboriginal rights, believed it served only to assuage the guilt of white people while achieving very little for Indigenous Australians. Both the following readings have implications for educators: Indifferent inclusion: Aboriginal people and the Australian nation (Links to an external site.) (McGregor, 2011, pp. 162-182) ‘Teachers notes: Indigenous voices’, Thinking Black, 1967 Referendum, Back on the Block. Canberra: AIATSIS (PDF 246 KB) (Links to an external site.) (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2011, pp. 1-19). Additional resources Further information on Reconciliation and what it means to Indigenous Australians and educators working with either Indigenous topics or people, you can visit Reconciliation Australia (Links to an external site.) (2017). To see how the idea of Country can be incorporated into a classroom activity you may like to look at Ideas Activity (Links to an external site.) (N.D) and Welcome to Country (Links to an external site.) (N.D). Narragunnawali has a number of free resources that support reconciliation in the early years and primary classrooms, but does requires you to sign up. The website Respect, Relationships, Reconciliation (Links to an external site.) (N.D) has some interesting areas you might like to explore. For more stories about what ‘Country’ means to an Indigenous person, watch the video Lex and Baressa talk about country (Links to an external site.) (Difference Differently, 2012). Conclusion This week has provided a brief summary of the many years of activism and advocacy for Indigenous rights that continues today with the goal of self-determination and empowerment of first nation people. What are some of the things that you could do as an individual and a teacher to advocate for these issues? What can you do? Language: know what language is discriminatory and why. Resources: know what resources are available and how/who should use them. Make contact with local Indigenous people including elders. Reflect on what is tokenistic and what is authentic in education. Develop your own Acknowledgement to Country and consider how would you feel about using an acknowledgement at events of meetings within your educational setting? Essential reading Read Chapter 5 The ‘silent apartheid’ as the practitioner’s blindspot (PDF 301 KB) (Links to an external site.) (Rose, 2012, pp. 64-80) from the eText. Use these focus questions to guide your reading: How does Rose define the ‘silent apartheid’ in education? What does he identify as its seven hallmarks? What are the effects of a deficit model of teaching? What does Rose identify as the two significant aspects ‘central to the education praxis’ of silent apartheid? What is a fringe dweller? The first reading below discusses the disillusionment of some Indigenous people over the YES vote in 1967. Kath Walker, who had long been an activist for Aboriginal rights, believed it served only to assuage the guilt of white people while achieving very little for Indigenous Australians. Both the following readings have implications for educators: Indifferent inclusion: Aboriginal people and the Australian nation (Links to an external site.) (McGregor, 2011, pp. 162-182) ‘Teachers notes: Indigenous voices’, Thinking Black, 1967 Referendum, Back on the Block. Canberra: AIATSIS (PDF 246 KB) (Links to an external site.) (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2011, pp. 1-19). Additional resources Further information on Reconciliation and what it means to Indigenous Australians and educators working with either Indigenous topics or people, you can visit Reconciliation Australia (Links to an external site.) (2017). To see how the idea of Country can be incorporated into a classroom activity you may like to look at Ideas Activity (Links to an external site.) (N.D) and Welcome to Country (Links to an external site.) (N.D). Narragunnawali has a number of free resources that support reconciliation in the early years and primary classrooms, but does requires you to sign up. The website Respect, Relationships, Reconciliation (Links to an external site.) (N.D) has some interesting areas you might like to explore. For more stories about what ‘Country’ means to an Indigenous person, watch the video Lex and Baressa talk about country (Links to an external site.) (Difference Differently, 2012). Conclusion This week has provided a brief summary of the many years of activism and advocacy for Indigenous rights that continues today with the goal of self-determination and empowerment of first nation people. What are some of the things that you could do as an individual and a teacher to advocate for these issues? Home This week’s topic is: Reconciliation and post-apology Australia. The National apology to the Stolen Generations by the Australian Parliament on 13 February 2008 was a powerful and memorable moment in the nation’s history. Saying ‘sorry’ cleared the air, inspiring Australians to believe we really can build the kind of respectful relationships needed for positive, long-term outcomes. This week, we focus our attention towards reconciliation in post-apology Australia. We will discuss campaigns, such as ‘Close the Gap’, and continue to outline how schools and education settings can support reconciliation. As you have now completed Assignment 1: Group Task: Researching Indigenous Australians, your focus will shift to Assignment 2: Essay as you further connect your learning so far to teaching and learning in Australia. This week’s objectives By the end of this week you should be able to: describe the impact of the 2008 apology as expressed by Indigenous Australians explain the vision for reconciliation and the use of reconciliation action plans to achieve outcomes critique the effectiveness of reconciliation to address the ‘laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss’ (Rudd, 2008) outline practical ways that schools and education settings can support reconciliation. 5.2 Reconciliation is a long and many layered process, its meaning complex and multi-faceted. Reconciliation means knowing this country’s history and acknowledging the bad as well as the good. It means understanding and embracing difference, of language, of culture, of Law. Reconciliation is about ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have their rights as the first peoples of this nation properly recognised and that recognition of those rights ensures them the same life chances as other Australians. Reconciliation is about acknowledging the wrongs of the past and pledging as a nation to right them. Former chair of NSW State Reconciliation Committee, Linda Burney (1999) Reconciliation therefore acknowledges Australia’s Indigenous history, and moving forward together with a commitment to social justice, and building relationships based on mutual understanding, respect and trust. Social justice for Indigenous Australians includes recognition of the distinct rights of Indigenous Australians as the first people, the right to self-determination, acknowledgements for past injustices, elimination of racism and discrimination, and closing the gaps in health, social and economic outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. ‘Achieving reconciliation involves raising awareness and knowledge of Indigenous history and culture, changing attitudes that are often based on myths and misunderstandings, and encouraging action where everyone plays their part in building a better relationship between us as fellow Australians’ (Muir, 2011, p. 1). An apology to the Stolen Generations, the Bringing Them Home report (1997) found that the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and communities has had life-long and profoundly disabling consequences for those taken, while negatively affecting the entire Indigenous community. For many of the children, removal meant that they lost all connection to family, traditional land, culture and language. The Bringing Them Home report recommended that the first step in healing is the acknowledgment of truth and the delivery of an apology. It is the responsibility of the Australian Government, on behalf of previous Australian governments that administered this wrongful policy, to acknowledge what was done and apologise for it. This issue is a ‘blank spot’ in the history of Australia. The damage and trauma these policies caused are felt everyday by Aboriginal people. They internalise their grief, guilt and confusion, inflicting further pain on themselves and others around them. It is about time the Australian Government openly accepted responsibility for their actions and compensate those affected. Roach and Hunter (as cited in Buti, 2004) On 11th of December 2007, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, announced that an apology would be made to Indigenous Australians, the wording of which would be decided in consultation with Aboriginal leaders. To watch the apology as it was delivered on January 2008, you can view the following video Sorry, Kevin Rudd’s apology to ‘The Stolen Generation’ (Links to an external site.) (Channel Ten, 2008). 5.3 Apologies pave the way for reconciliation. According to Pascoe (2008), there are multiple perspectives towards reconciliation. For example: Some Indigenous people feel that they should not be expected to take the lead on reconciling past injustices. Many believe that Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians need to work together. Some non-Indigenous Australians oppose reconciliation or apologies and feel that it is governments that are responsible and not individuals. In April 2007, 40 of Australia’s leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous health peak bodies and human rights organisations joined forces to launch a campaign to ‘Close the Gap’ on health inequality. The campaign comes in response to a call from the Social Justice Commissioner to achieve health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within 25 years. ‘Close the Gap’ calls on all levels of Australian government to put in place firm targets, funding and time-frames to address health inequalities, including providing equal access to primary health care for Indigenous Australians within 10 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live substantially shorter lives than other Australians—up to 20 years less in some cases. Babies born to Aboriginal mothers die at more than twice the rate of other Australian babies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience higher rates of preventable illness such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. ‘It’s a health crisis you’d associate with an impoverished nation, but it’s happening right here in our own backyard. Together we are changing this picture.’ (Oxfam, 2016). Reconciliation action plans Reconciliation action plans (RAP) enable organisations to build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and are a practical way for everyone to contribute to the process and build respectful relationships. Through the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program, organisations develop business plans that document what they will do within their sphere of influence to contribute to reconciliation in Australia. These RAPs outline practical actions the organisation will take to build strong relationships and enhanced respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. A RAP also sets out the organisation’s aspirational plans to drive greater equality by pursuing sustainable opportunities. These are sent to Reconciliation Australia where they are approved and each year the impact of these is measured and reported. For more information on the RAP program—and all the resources, templates and links you need—go to the RAP Online Hub (Links to an external site.) (n.d.). You may also like to review Swinburne University of Technology’s Reconciliation Action Plan (Links to an external site.) (2016). Essential reading Read Chapter 5 Referendum, recognition and apology (Links to an external site.) (Maddison, 2011, pp. 129-143) from Beyond White Guilt: The Real Challenge for Black-White Relations in Australia. The concepts of ‘Whiteness’ and ‘White Guilt’ can be challenging ideas for some people as they name and frame privilege that may have not have previously been considered. This chapter analyses racism though three key events, the referendum, reconciliation and the national apology. How does this chapter outline: some of the advantages and challenges of the reconciliation agenda some of the advantages and challenges of apologies to groups of oppressed people some of the ways forward for reconciliation? The readings below relate to the apology, reconciliation and how we might personalise these concepts for students. To deepen your own understanding and thereby improve your ability to teach and share these ideas with children please read: Apology to the stolen generations: questions and answers (PDF 208 KB) (Links to an external site.), Reading Indigenous Perspectives Fact Sheet (Reconciliation Australia, 2010, pp. 1–2). Respect, connect, enact: A reconciliation plan for Early Childhood Australia 2012 – 2016 (PDF 4.81 MB) (Links to an external site.), pp. 1–12 (Early Childhood Australia, 2012). This is an example of a RAP developed for the peak early childhood body, ECA (Early Childhood Australia). What are some of the practical examples you could take from this RAP? How could you extend these ideas if you developed a RAP for a primary school? Additional reading The resources below discuss the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians. Close the Gap: Incoming government must commit (Links to an external site.) (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018). Bringing them home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families (PDF 18.3 MB) (Links to an external site.) (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 1997). Close the Gap (Links to an external site.) (Oxfam Australia, n.d). Explore the Reconciliation Australia (Links to an external site.) (2017) website to learn more about building relationships for change between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. Cultural Competence for Staff (Links to an external site.) (n.d.) help you understand your own cultural competence and how it is important to reconciliation. This is a free resource, however you do need to log in. Early Childhood Australia Learning Hub – Reconciliation (Links to an external site.) (Early Childhood Australia, n.d.) has some resources and information about reconciliation in Early Childhood Conclusion After over 200 years of colonial settlement and a campaign of racial and cultural discrimination, the government finally apologised to Indigenous people for some of the wrongs that took place. This week you have reflected on what this means for all Australians, and it is evident that there is still a long way to go to achieving reconciliation. The process of reconciliation brings hope to Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and some of the campaigns such as ‘Close the Gap’ were discussed this week. As we continue throughout the remaining weeks, we will explore many examples, projects, case studies and teaching examples that will build not only your understanding of Indigenous perspectives, but also strengthen teaching skills and the pedagogy required for effective Indigenous education. 6.1 This week’s topic is: Indigenous and contemporary contexts. Understanding the contemporary life of Indigenous Australians is essential in education and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are always attached to historical and cultural contexts. The past five weeks of work have been designed to provide you with a grounding. By now, you should understand that there has been an unequal power relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and key events such as the stolen generations, removal from land, government policies and racial discrimination have an impact on the past and present. In this, the final week for the first section of the unit, we shift our focus to contemporary contexts for Indigenous people. This week’s objectives By the end of this week you should be able to: describe some of the issues that impact Indigenous contemporary ways of living, being and knowing analyse the impact of cultural and historical disadvantage on the lives of Indigenous people in relation to health, education, justice, employment and social outcomes. 6.2 Indigenous disadvantage Consider some of the following findings from the national Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage Report (2011). Key indicators highlighting that Indigenous people are the most disadvantaged group in Australia include: The life expectancy of Indigenous people is around 9.7 to 11.5 years lower than that of other Australians. Indigenous students are half as likely to continue into Year 12. The average Indigenous income is lower. A much lower proportion of Indigenous people own their homes. Suicide death rates are much higher. The rate of child protection notifications are rising faster than for others. Homicide death rates are six times higher. Indigenous people are 12 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault than other people. Both men and women experience more than double the victimisation rates of others. Indigenous women’s imprisonment rates have increased. Juveniles are 20 times more likely to be detained. Many of these factors combine to create the following economic indicators (select the factors below to enlarge and scroll through them): ClosingtheGap-00s.jpg ClosingtheGap-01.jpg ClosingtheGap-02.jpg ClosingtheGap-03.jpg ClosingtheGap-04.jpg Economic indicators (2008) Economic indicators Indigenous outcomes Non-Indigenous outcomes Education Source ABS 2006 Year 12 attainment = 47.4% (among the 20-24 year old population) Year 12 attainment = 83.8% (among the 20-24 year old population) Training and employment Source NATSIS S 2008 Persons 15 years and over Employed = 58.8% Unemployed = 16.6% Not in the labour force = 35.5% Persons 15 years and over Employed = 75.0% Unemployed = 4.2% Not in the labour force = 21.7% Business and entrepreneurship Source ABS 2006 Self-employed = 5.56% Self-employed no staff = 26% Self-employed = 16.3% Self-employed no staff = 6.7% Financial security and independence Source ABS 2006 Median weekly income – $278 Homeownership = 36% Median weekly income – $473 Homeownership = 71%There remains chronic disadvantage in the health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In almost all status measures and disease categories, the health of Indigenous peoples is worse than other Australians. According to the Creative Spirit, ‘while Canada, the United States and New Zealand have managed to lift the health standards in their Indigenous communities since the 1980s, Australian Aboriginal people suffer a worsening health crisis’ (2015, paragraph 1). 6.3 The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody found that there were disproportionate numbers of Indigenous peoples represented in custody and prisons. Data from the Australian Institute of Criminology’s ‘National Prison Census’ (1991), showed that there were 18 times the number of Indigenous peoples in custody than non-Indigenous peoples, and that 29% of people detained in custody were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The number of Indigenous prisoners has increased significantly over the years since the RDIADC. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013) reports that there is a backlog in the provision of adequate housing and community services for Indigenous communities around Australia. Overcrowding and house deterioration are huge issues, as are inadequate or non existent community services (such as medical centres). Bias and discrimination Prejudice, bias and stereotyping have the effect of devaluing individuals and communities. Race discrimination means that someone treats an individual unfairly or unfavourably, or harasses them, because of their race, colour, descent, ethnic and national origin or nationality. Racial vilification means to say or do anything publicly that could incite others to hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule against someone because of their race. Examples could include: making racist gestures or abuse making abusive remarks about Indigenous people on a radio or television show, or in a public forum leaving racist graffiti in a public place wearing racist badges or an offensive t-shirt. Twenty years after Nicky Winmar took a historic stand against racist taunts from the crowd, a spectator again hurled racist abuse at AFL star Adam Goodes during the Indigenous round of AFL. ‘To come to the boundary line and hear a 13-year-old girl call me an ‘ape’, and it’s not the first time on a footy field that I’ve been referred to as a ‘monkey’ or an ‘ape’, it was shattering’ (Levy, 2013, paragraph 6). Adam Goodes names and shames the practice of using derogatory terms and racist slurs, but it is important that we all understand the offence stems from a long history of racial discrimination. Goodes recognises that he is not blaming the girl, saying she deserved to be supported and educated about why the racist comment was unacceptable. Watch Adam Goodes’ response to a racist taunt (Declan Stylofone, 2013) aimed at him by a thirteen-year-old girl in the video below. Consider these questions as you watch: Did Adam Goodes’ action help to educate people as he hoped? What is the role of teachers in standing up against bias and teaching anti-bias principles? What is the motivation for people who use racial slurs? How is Adam Goodes a role model for Indigenous people? According to Dermon-Sparks (1989), many adults assume that children are unaffected by the biases of society. However, we know a child’s identity and attitude development challenge this comfortable assumption. Through anti-bias curriculum and integrated pedagogies and perspectives for all children, teachers enable every child to achieve the ultimate goal of education: the development of each child to their fullest. An anti-bias approach will be investigated throughout this unit, and this introductory reading will highlight the importance of the approach. 6.3 The effects of colonialism and systemic discrimination towards Indigenous communities is evident in the areas of health, housing, employment, media and high levels of incarceration areas show that there is still a long way to go in bridging the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous outcomes. There have been some successes. Maternal and infant health has improved, with a decrease in deaths over the past twenty years. Year 12 retention rates continue to improve and there are increasing numbers of Indigenous teachers and teaching assistants, and since the beginning of the ‘Community Development Employment Project’ in 1979, the number of Indigenous Australians employed has more than tripled. Indigenous and contemporary contexts Media Law and justice Housing Bias and discrimination Racial discrimination Anti-bias curriculum Essential reading Readings for this week have been selected to help you see not only the effects of colonialism on current Indigenous outcomes but also to further engage you with understanding how these outcomes affect your role and point of view as an educator. It makes sense then that more you know, the more capable you are of understanding and thereby leading the way into new futures. Read Chapter 9 Language and literacy (Links to an external site.) (PDF 337 KB) (Links to an external site.) (Troy, 2012, pp.131-150) . Use these focus questions to guide your reading: How is engagement and motivation increased when students have access to their own languages at school? Why is it important to engage Elders and the local community when beginning an Australian language program in a school? How does the teaching of Australian languages differ from the teaching of other languages in schools? Read the chapters by Craven and Derman-Sparks and complete the questions that follow. Chapter 3 Misconceptions, stereotypes and racism: Let’s face the facts (PDF 3.15 MB) (Links to an external site.) (Craven, 2011, pp. 42-67) Chapter 1 Why an anti-bias curriculum? (PDF 789 KB) (Links to an external site.) (Derman-Sparks, 1989, pp. 1-8). Use these focus questions to guide your reading: What is ‘anti-bias’ curriculum? Try to find three examples of anti-bias activities you could use. What are the anti-racism strategies that Craven discusses? Devise an example that you might use as a teacher. What is ‘tourism curriculum’? Give some examples based on your own experience. What evidence does Louise Derman-Sparks provide of the effects of the ‘deficit model’ (as we discussed in Week 4) in regards to black children in the classroom? What does the research suggest? Watch Episode 4 Stand up (Links to an external site.) of Redfern Now (Perkins, 2012) for a modern Indigenous perspective of ‘Eurocentric’ education. This week’s discussion assumes you have watched this episode. Additional resources These additional resources will provide further insights into Indigenous pedagogy, ways of knowing and barriers to success. The report The Case for Urgency: Advocating for Indigenous voice in education (Links to an external site.) (ACER , 2017) brings together historical and contemporary issues in relation to Indigenous education. This report may be useful for you to dip into while preparing for Assignment 2 and Assignment 3. Indigenous pedagogy and development (Links to an external site.) (Nichol, 2011, pp. 103-125). Overcoming Indigenous disadvantage: Key indicators 2016 (PDF 1.66 MB) (Links to an external site.) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2016). Australian Human Rights Commission publications on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice publications (Links to an external site.) (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2019). Conclusion The effects of colonialism and systemic discrimination towards Indigenous communities is evident in the areas of health, housing, employment, media and high levels of incarceration areas show that there is still a long way to go in bridging the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous outcomes. There have been some successes. Maternal and infant health has improved, with a decrease in deaths over the past twenty years. Year 12 retention rates continue to improve and there are increasing numbers of Indigenous teachers and teaching assistants, and since the beginning of the ‘Community Development Employment Project’ in 1979, the number of Indigenous Australians employed has more than tripled. Chapter 5 Referendum, recognition and apology (Links to an external site.) (Maddison, 2011, pp. 129-143). Apology to the stolen generations: questions and answers (PDF 208 KB) (Links to an external site.)(Reconciliation Australia, 2010, pp. 1-2). Respect, connect, enact: A reconciliation plan for Early Childhood Australia 2012 – 2016 (PDF 4.81 MB) (Links to an external site.) (Early Childhood Australia, 2012, pp. 1-12). Chapter 5 Referendum, recognition and apology (Links to an external site.) (Maddison, 2011, pp. 129-143). Apology to the stolen generations: questions and answers (PDF 208 KB) (Links to an external site.)(Reconciliation Australia, 2010, pp. 1-2). Respect, connect, enact: A reconciliation plan for Early Childhood Australia 2012 – 2016 (PDF 4.81 MB) (Links to an external site.) (Early Childhood Australia, 2012, pp. 1-12). Adam Goodes response to a racist taunt, unedited (Links to an external site.) (Declan Stylofone, 2013). Indigenous pedagogy and development (Links to an external site.) (Nichol, 2011, pp. 103-125). Overcoming Indigenous disadvantage: Key indicators 2011 (PDF 1.66 MB) (Links to an external site.)(Commonwealth of Australia, 2011). Social justice report 2008 (Links to an external site.) (Calma, 2009). 7.1This week’s topic is: Indigenous education. This week, we begin the second part of the unit, which looks more specifically at issues related to Indigenous education. Over the final six weeks, we will apply what we’ve learnt about Indigenous history, culture, activism and reconciliation from the first six weeks more specifically to an educational context. This week’s objectives By the end of this week you should be able to: summarise some of the key issues that impact Indigenous education explain the challenges of viewing Indigenous education via a ‘deficit model’ explain the benefits and challenges of bicultural and multicultural visions and practices of education. 7.2 What is Indigenous education? Is Indigenous education: the education of Indigenous people? education about Indigenous peoples, histories, heritage and contemporary experiences? education in an Indigenous context? Aboriginal studies policies are often underpinned by a two-fold purpose: (1) Optimising the capacity and capability of Indigenous people and communities; and (2) Educating all Australians to recognise Indigenous cultures and knowledge as being of equal validity to non-Indigenous cultures and to secure Indigenous Australia in the frame of reference of mainstream Australia. Beresford et al. (2003, pp. 338-339) Education in Australia Indigenous Australians have sophisticated education practices and systems based on spoken knowledge and teaching by experience and observation, which were developed well before 1788. Aspects of Aboriginal education have both endured and changed over time, despite non-Aboriginal people’s frequent efforts to ‘improve’ upon, or destroy, their knowledge and teachings. Dr Allison Cadzow for the Board of Studies NSW (2010, p. 1) The late 1960s became known as a new era in Australian education. Pedagogies and curricula were rethought to accompany cultural movements. During this time, Aboriginal education moved from assimilation to integration, with the belief that education and exposure to ‘white’ Australians would enable Indigenous Australians to become part of mainstream Australian culture. During these years, many mission schools where Indigenous children were educated were replaced by government with special schools. The 1970s addressed the issue of Aboriginal education by finding ways to attend to Indigenous culture. Since the late 1980s, state and territory education departments have developed their own Aboriginal Education policies (Wadham, Pudsey & Boyd, 2007). Have a look through the following timelines Aboriginal history timeline (1900–1969) (Links to an external site.), Aboriginal history timeline (1970-1999) (Links to an external site.), Aboriginal history timeline (2000-2010) (Links to an external site.) , Aboriginal history timeline (current times) (Links to an external site.) (Creative Spirits, n.d.) and note the significant events and policies around Indigenous education. High expectations for Indigenous children and learning decorative image Yakanarra School (2013) In the past, educational programs for Indigenous people have been built around a concept that Indigenous students are a cohort that needs to be ‘fixed’. This has been highlighted in this unit by Chris Sarra where low expectations for Indigenous children are present. In the media, in the public discussion, the term ‘closing the gap’ is there all the time. This concept is called a ‘deficit model’. Increasingly, education is now moving to view Indigenous philosophies as complex and sophisticated systems of thought, and Indigenous people themselves are articulating Indigenous pedagogies that work for them. There has been tacit acceptance of the non-achievement of educational standards by Aboriginal children and young people. The resultant acceptance of this lack of educational success has a cumulative effect. It is based on the belief that Aboriginal children and young people will never reach their full potential and if they fall behind society then welfare will protect them. Their low level of educational success is accepted as a normative expectation. This has to change. 7.3 ZubEducational outcomes There are numerous factors which may contribute to educational barriers for Indigenous children in educational settings. Some of these are listed below; however, each child brings their own issues to a classroom, and this list is not indicative of each and every child who identifies as Indigenous. Inappropriate teaching materials/resources. Many Indigenous children speak English as a second, third or fourth language—these resources and materials often do not take this into consideration. Inappropriate teaching context—stories and materials that do not relate to Indigenous ways of knowing and being that Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and young people both gain benefits from. Large families living in small houses. Overcrowding can lead to lack of sleep and nutrition—meaning that children are unable to concentrate in the learning environment. Limited attention to relevant books and films depicting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with stories about their varies lives so children can identify with people who live and look like them. Limited availability of Indigenous teachers within the learning environment. This means that cultural perspectives maybe compromised and/or misunderstood and less communication and networking takes place with Indigenous communities. Poverty within Indigenous communities, where there is less access to health services. Hearing is one major issue arising from this lack of access, which is greatly affecting learning outcomes. There is a lack of infrastructure within many remote Indigenous communities. Teachers within Indigenous communities may feel they lack the professional development and support required to effectively teach children. Teachers may also feel disengaged within communities, as they do not stay long enough to build rapport and trust within communities. There is also a lack of full-time teachers, leading to teacher shortages. Parents and families of children may have bad memories of education, and may not instill the importance of school-based education to their children.rick et al (2006) Education in remote communities In recent decades, academics, policy makers and educators have debated the benefits and disadvantages of various education approaches aimed at improving educational outcomes for Indigenous people. The debates have often focused on Indigenous education in remote Australia. This is where Indigenous students make up the majority of the school and early childhood populations, and the schools they attend are not considered (and often not funded) in the same way as ‘mainstream’ schools. The Indigenous students in these remote schools often experience significant educational disadvantage and as a consequence, their English literacy and numeracy skills are at lower levels than other Australian students. With few exceptions, the debates about Indigenous education focus on whether it is better to educate Indigenous children in their own communities or whether it is better to remove Indigenous children to boarding schools where they can access Western-style education and be saturated in the English language. The debates contest strategies that, on the one hand, seek to ‘normalise’ Indigenous students through assimilation and integration with mainstream society, and on the other, seek to preserve Indigenous languages and culture within Indigenous communities. The proponents of both sides of the argument are keen for the same outcomes—the best possible education and the best possible life opportunities for remote students. (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tony Calma – Social Justice Report, 2008, p. 95). Effective teaching methods that work for Indigenous students: latest research By Cathie Burgess What does effective teaching of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students look like? Thousands of research studies have been dedicated to finding answers to this question. But much of what we think we know, or hear, about Indigenous education remains mired in myths and legends. Governments have been surprisingly frank about the failure of their Closing The Gap policies to deliver better health, education and employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The search for better ways continues. My colleagues and I are particularly interested in looking for what works in Aboriginal education, and most importantly, how do we know what works? As part of the larger ‘Aboriginal Voices’ project we decided to analyse research studies on Aboriginal education from 2006-2017. We carried out several systematic literature reviews following rigorous and replicable protocols across a range of key issues. The review I want to tell you about is one that looked for evidence of pedagogies that engage, support and improve the educational outcomes of Indigenous students. This review sorted through approximately 2000 research studies and, after applying the systematic review inclusion/exclusion protocols, analysed the remaining 53 research studies. So, what did we find? Most studies are localised small-scale qualitative case studies focused on engagement Most research studies were localised small-scale qualitative case studies producing evidence of successful programs that engaged and/or supported Indigenous students in the classroom and in many cases, these were the aims of the program. The assumption appears to be that if Indigenous students are engaged in their learning then their educational outcomes will improve but without empirical evidence to support this, this can only be considered as conjecture. Wholesale literacy and numeracy programs where Indigenous students are a subset Eighteen research studies identified pedagogical approaches for specific skills such as literacy and numeracy revealing mixed results in terms of success. In many of these studies, Indigenous students were a subset of a larger group usually connected by socio-economic status (SES), achievement levels and location. Any successes reported in these programs occurred for all students and therefore did not shed light on any specific pedagogical approaches that improved Indigenous student outcomes. Not surprisingly research studies that focus on practical skill improvements like literacy and numeracy tend to receive large-scale funding as results are more readily quantifiable and reportable in terms of government policy priorities. Moreover, programmatic approaches to literacy and numeracy appear to have become the default approach for Aboriginal student learning in preparation for vocational pathways. Specific pedagogies identified as effective Yes we did find 21 studies of pedagogies identified as effective in improving Aboriginal student engagement, support and /or educational outcomes. Most described effective, innovative pedagogies such as ‘Pedagogies of wonder’. This involves adults listening to the wonder of the children about their own history, culture and context and trusting children to research this rich resource. Generative pedagogies Here, culturally safe spaces were created for Indigenous girls to engage with their everyday experiences of oppression, through writing. Place-based pedagogies (also here) that take students out of the classroom and onto ‘country’ and involve Rangers, teachers and community members in a collaborative approach to teaching and learning were successful in engaging students . pedagogies prioritising local Aboriginal voices that involve listening to voices in the community and understanding the values and cultural elements that inform students in their engagement with a formal education context. These teaching methods engaged and supported Aboriginal students rather than ‘improved educational outcomes’ and while it could be argued that culturally responsive approaches such as these create conditions for improving educational outcomes, there was no empirical evidence to make this causal connection. The seminal extensive research project Systemic Implications of Pedagogy and Achievement in NSW public schools (SIPA) provides an exception. While Aboriginal students were a subset of a larger group, researchers focussed on results for specific groups, coding and measuring student assessment tasks utilising the NSW Quality Teaching Framework [QTF]. In terms of outcomes, researchers provided solid evidence that high quality assessment tasks not only improved all students results but contributed to closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. While not identifying specific pedagogies to improve educational outcomes, they noted pedagogical approaches that contributed to poor outcomes particularly for Aboriginal and low SES students such as ‘defensive teaching’, low expectations and a focus on behaviour management rather than effective teaching and learning of curriculum content. Contributing factors to effective teaching Many of the studies  discussed pedagogies in relation to other contributing factors to effective teaching such as student engagement, teacher professional learning and curriculum. Engagement strategies identified the importance of: individually paced learning, culturally safe learning environments, providing transport, food and community-based staff working in the school, opportunities for Aboriginal student voices, local community involvement in the school, teacher understanding about their students ‘out-of-school’ lives, and school as a place of belonging and relevance. Teacher professional learning included the need for: increased teacher confidence and efficacy through actively learning about local Aboriginal culture, history and the impact of colonization, a shift from behaviour management to subject knowledge, time and resources to adequately reflect on and improve their practice, and ongoing engagement with Aboriginal parents and communities. Students and parents highlighted the importance of: culture, positive relationships, needing to learn about the literacy demands of schools and how to code-switch between home and school, support for student behavior, schools and teachers rejecting deficit views of Aboriginal people, and affirming Aboriginal student’s cultural identity. Knowing the community is critical While only 14 research studies focussed on context, most studies referred to this as an important consideration especially in remote and very remote schools. This suggests that the issues for students and the challenges for teachers are largely context dependent and so critical and nuanced understandings of each particular community are crucial. It also points to the invisibility of urban-based students and communities. If a study was conducted in an urban area, the location was not mentioned or considered a factor in the study. Given that urban Indigenous populations are increasing exponentially, this highlights a concerning gap in the research design and priorities. Deficit thinking Concern about school and teacher deficit thinking about Aboriginal peoples and cultures that also appear to permeate policy and practice, was evident in a number of studies, some of which contextualized this within ongoing issues of race and racism. Some studies also critically analysed the construction, problematisation and reproduction of knowledge noting that Aboriginal aspirations were not often included in definitions of what success might look like for these students and their communities, or how it might be measured. The challenges are many and the answers complex Consequently, while these research studies contribute to the conversation about ‘what works’ for Indigenous students, there certainly needs to be an evidence-based systematic approach to developing pedagogical approaches to improve Aboriginal student outcomes. In saying this, the combination of diverse Aboriginal contexts each of which are embedded in local place and knowledges, and the complexity of ‘measuring’ pedagogies given the multitude of complex, layered and nuanced variables that impact on the teaching/learning process, makes this an extremely challenging task. Conclusion Although the issues relating to Indigenous education are complex, the readings this week outline the importance of the teacher ability to think critically about Indigenous education, perspectives and pedagogy. Teachers play a positive role in helping to improve the education outcomes of Indigenous students and children and to do that it is necessary to address factors across the whole community, home, school and the student themselves so that all students are able to engage and learn. 8.1 This week’s topic is: Teaching Indigenous perspectives. By now you have a deepening understanding of Australian Indigenous culture, history and perspectives, and are beginning to make connections to the impacts on education. This week we will explore an Aboriginal Learning Framework and how we can incorporate it into our teaching. It means you might be forced to think differently to ways you have in the past, but this experience will help you complete both your essay and your final assignment, the portfolio. This week’s objectives By the end of this week you should be able to: explain what is meant by Indigenous perspectives and knowledge list strategies for incorporating Indigenous perspectives into schools and education settings identify where Indigenous education and perspectives are included in national and state government curriculum and frameworks explain how the 8ways Aboriginal pedagogy framework reflects Indigenous perspectives and plan activities that put it into practice. 8.2 The term ‘Aboriginal or Indigenous Perspectives’ refers to Aboriginal points of view and ways of thinking, being and doing. This concept includes an understanding of ‘traditional’ knowledge, and ways of knowing that are often passed down to younger generations by elders and utilised in a contemporary context—including education. Where possible, Indigenous subject matter and perspectives should be explored in consultation with Aboriginal people in the local school community. Watch this video to hear Andrew and Angela talk about how you can incorporate Indigenous perspectives and knowledge into your teaching. They will also introduce the 8ways Aboriginal pedagogy framework, which you will learn more about as you progress through this week’s materials. Embedding Indigenous perspectives requires a holistic approach, and involves a re-framing of both curriculum and pedagogical practices. Although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies are important, it is imperative that these units are not seen as the only way to incorporate Indigenous perspectives within the curriculum. These perspectives need to be embedded and considered within the whole school and early childhood environment. Inclusion involves a balance between the content and processes developed within the curriculum and pedagogical approaches with authentic and respectful content—as well as processes that provide learners with an opportunity to experience Indigenous perspectives in multiple ways. For example: It could be about growing bush foods and researching how Indigenous people survived on the land for thousands of years. It could be about understanding the concept of a midden (this will be investigated in an activity this week). Include aspects of culture such as art, music, language and community. Incorporate drawing with traditional materials such as sticks and ochre. Teach Dreaming and creation stories. Play traditional Indigenous games. Set up discussion groups to investigate ethical dilemmas and develop empathy and understanding (e.g. ‘How would you feel if …’). 8.3 Teaching and learning process Involving Indigenous people in the teaching and learning process will assist in the inclusion of their perspectives within the curriculum. Indigenous people from the community and families provide a rich resource and this is evident with the inclusion of a diverse range of other people and resources. Critical to this process are the ways that students develop attitudes and perceptions, and the need for both teachers and students to understand themselves before they can understand others. For example: Acknowledge Country at events and meetings and involve children in the process and understanding of what this protocol means. Create a calendar of Indigenous local and national events that can be celebrated such as NAIDOC Week. Invite Indigenous people into the educational setting to share their skill, knowledge and perspectives. Name a room or area of the education setting with local Indigenous names—consult with a local Indigenous group before your do this. Resource Indigenous professional development, performers and artists for children, teachers and the community. Teaching and learning process Involving Indigenous people in the teaching and learning process will assist in the inclusion of their perspectives within the curriculum. Indigenous people from the community and families provide a rich resource and this is evident with the inclusion of a diverse range of other people and resources. Critical to this process are the ways that students develop attitudes and perceptions, and the need for both teachers and students to understand themselves before they can understand others. For example: Acknowledge Country at events and meetings and involve children in the process and understanding of what this protocol means. Create a calendar of Indigenous local and national events that can be celebrated such as NAIDOC Week. Invite Indigenous people into the educational setting to share their skill, knowledge and perspectives. Name a room or area of the education setting with local Indigenous names—consult with a local Indigenous group before your do this. Resource Indigenous professional development, performers and artists for children, teachers and the community. Dialogue or yarning circles have been used by Indigenous people around the world for centuries to build respectful relationships, learn from a collective group, and to preserve and pass on cultural knowledge. By using dialogue circles as a teaching and learning strategy, teachers enhance student understandings of Indigenous Knowledge and ways of working with this knowledge. Circles are important because there is no beginning or end and therefore no completions but continuous cycles. Standing in a circle allows everyone to see each other as they stand shoulder to shoulder. In other words, circles are formations where power relations are structured differently to ensure agency of each member is a necessary part of the function. Martin (2008) Indigenous culture is organised like a circle, where the community works as a team and communally come to an agreement. The decision-making process is, in effect, made by all, and any organisations are accountable ‘to the traditional owners who have control over decisions made on their lands’. The authors (Rarriway, Yunupingu, Marika-Mununggiritj & Muller, 2009) argue that education is focused on a mono-cultural way of schooling, which is the ‘white’ way. Within this framework, they argue, there is no room for adapting to or meeting needs that may be different to the prescribed way of teaching. To resolve the issue, ‘others … need to learn to see outside their own cultural framework’ (Yunupingu et al., 2009). An example the authors use is teacher-parent interviews. In Aboriginal culture, the child is looked after by their parents as well as their extended families. To only allow parents to attend excludes family members that may have great influence in the child’s life, which cannot be to the benefit of the child. It also alienates the extended family in such a way that has a negative impact on how they view the education system as a whole (Yunupingu et al., 2009). The authors are not arguing that Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures cannot work in harmony, but they do argue that the Aboriginal traditional structure, the circle, must be ‘made explicit and [used] to balance the decision-making power’ (Yunupingu et al., 2009). If teachers use the circle to complement their usual teaching methods, then the two structures can fit together. This format gives Indigenous students a sense of ownership and belonging to the education system rather than being alienated and disassociated in every way possible. It also makes the school part of their community rather an outside organisation that has no cultural meaning. Indigenous education aims for the appreciation of the diversity of Indigenous Australian people’s philosophies, values, history, experience and literature, including: a holistic understanding of Australian colonial history from the perspective of Indigenous Australians the ability to articulate how the ideology of terra nullius has impacted on Indigenous history and the effects still resound in contemporary Australia an awareness of the complex and ongoing manifestation of racism in Australian society, particularly in relation to Indigenous Australians, and particularly in relation to pedagogical paradigms and practices an awareness of current Indigenous issues in relation to social justice and human rights. Including intellectual and cultural property rights an appreciation of the development of Indigenous cultural, economic and educational policies and practices (Biermann & Townsend-Cross, 2008) an awareness of the connectivity that is ‘physical, spiritual, political, geographical, intellectual, emotional, social, historical, sensory, instinctual, intuitive’, and that these are the core principles and values that form the basis of Indigenous childhood educational philosophies. In Indigenous Australia, everywhere is a learning place and everyone has an educational role (Martin, 2008). The traditional owners of Western NSW came together to explore and develop a pedagogy framework, allowing teachers to use Aboriginal learning techniques to incorporate Aboriginal perspectives into their teaching. The result was the ‘8ways’ Aboriginal pedagogy framework. The 8ways framework is expressed as eight interconnected pedagogies which involve: narrative-driven learning visualised learning processes hands-on/reflective techniques use of symbols/metaphors land-based learning indirect/synergistic logic modelled/scaffolded genre mastery connectedness to community. This pedagogy was created by Tyson Yankaporta as part of his doctoral studies. 8ways is therefore about how to teach, rather than what to teach (content). This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t teach historical and cultural content—this unit has been advocating for the importance of this—however it does help you to teach with integrity and relevance. The 8ways framework supports authentic learning that minimises the common practices of tokenistic learning that marginalises Indigenous learners further from mainstream education. Symbols representing the 8 Ways of learning include: 1. A boomerang, which represents story sharing 2. A winding path representing learning maps 3. A hand representing non-verbal 4. A circle with five half circles around it (people sitting in a meeting) represents symbols and images 5. A fish swimming in a river represents land links 6. Two paths meeting represents non-linear ways of learning 7. The drum symbol represents deconstruct-reconstruct 8. The spiral represents community links 8ways (2013) In its simplest form, the framework might be expressed as: Tell a story. Make a plan. Think and do. Draw it. Take it outside. Try a new way. Watch first, then do. Share it with others. 8ways is not a ‘program’ to implement in an education setting. It is a paradigm and a model framework to help teachers engage with community to produce a local model for Indigenous learning. Some of the 8ways pedagogies may be familiar to you, such as using stories and symbols, but if these are only taught from an aesthetic perspective and not connected with local oral histories or symbols than this is a tokenistic approach. 8ways should not be seen as a universal Indigenous knowledge framework, it is particular to communities from Western New South Wales. Eight Aboriginal Ways of Learning Going forward into the twenty-first century, indigenous pedagogies connect the deep past of human history with contemporary experiences and multimodal learning: The framework is expressed as eight interconnected pedagogies involving narrative-driven learning, visualised learning plans, hands-on/reflective techniques, use of symbols/metaphors, land-based learning, indirect/synergistic logic, modelled/scaffolded genre mastery, and connectedness to community. But these can change in different settings. Story Sharing: Approaching learning through narrative. Learning Maps: Explicitly mapping/visualising processes. Non-verbal: Applying intra-personal and kinaesthetic skills to thinking and learning. Symbols and Images: Using images and metaphors to understand concepts and content. Land Links: Place-based learning, linking content to local land and place. Non-linear: Producing innovations and understanding by thinking laterally or combining systems. Deconstruct/Reconstruct: Modelling and scaffolding, working from wholes to parts (watch then do). Community Links: Centring local viewpoints, applying learning for community benefit. How we learn – culture way 1. We connect through the stories we share. 2. We picture our pathways of knowledge. 3. We see, think, act, make and share without words. 4. We keep and share knowledge with art and objects. 5. We work with lessons from land and nature. 6. We put different ideas together and create new knowledge. 7. We work from wholes to parts, watching and then doing. 8. We bring new knowledge home to help our mob. Testimonial from M. Whitla: For such a long time the ways Indigenous Australians learn have been ignored, but that is slowly changing and a big part of that change starts with us. We need to become more educated on the Indigenous heritage of Australia and learn more specifically about how to best teach students from this culture. After exploring the 8 Aboriginal ways of learning I feel much more capable of teaching these students effectively. I understand that the best process of learning for these students is not always sitting at their desks in a classroom reading words from the board. I aim to have an interactive, visual classroom that brings the outside environment inside the classroom. As this is a different method of learning that does not all come naturally to me I feel I will be learning along with the students, which I am happy to do. I acknowledge that I will have students who may know more on specific topics as I am not a part of the Australian Indigenous culture and I am happy to take a step back and let these students co-construct their teaching and learning. These 8 ways of learning have changed my perspective on incorporating the Aboriginal culture into the classroom and how simple, yet effective it can be. I feel at ease knowing that the 8 Aboriginal ways of learning diagram is there to relate back to and reflect upon as it is so simple and easy to understand and incorporate into the classroom. I will work to incorporate these 8 ways of learning throughout the entire curriculum. For example, I will not only include story telling when teaching English but instead I will include story sharing throughout a range of KLAs, using narratives to convey what I am teaching. Conclusion You now have an understanding that perspectives are ways of seeing the world, the way we interact with our environment, the way we see ourselves and others. We know that experiences (both personal and family, religious, linguistic, text and verbal understandings, cultural and our values) contribute to an individual’s perspective. We know that they are not limited to a particular way of viewing or experiencing the world, and that collective and individual identity contribute to our perspectives. By incorporating the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and doing so through processes rather than content, we are able to focus on core curriculum content while embedding these vital perspectives within our curriculum and the everyday learning environment.
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