The key issues teachers need to consider to work successfully with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are to know cultural behaviours, relatedness, identity, history, community spirit, and to be aware of a great sense of autonomy. They are referred to as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as the original custodians of this land. Some of the key issues which need to be considered when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, are the impact of their culture and their identity, and to ensure that they are given equal opportunities to the other students.
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identify and discuss the local Indigenous Australian people of the land on which the student lives/works/or studies. (live)
‘School attendance and Aboriginal Students’ by G. Partington, J. Gray & M. Byrne is an insightful piece that highlights the lack of attendance in mainstream schooling found amongst the Indigenous youth of Australia. However, the reading does not focus on the negative aspects of this lack of attendance but rather the reasons why these absences may occur. It aims to assist schools in minimising this problem by not only understanding the issue in more depth, but also promoting easy to implement strategies at both a teacher and whole school level.
The discourse of whiteness has severely impacted on the educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (herein referred to as Indigenous Peoples). The discourse is based on an ontology founded on overt racism, discrimination, prejudice, exclusion and dispossession and towards all Indigenous Peoples. Subsequently, the history of Indigenous Peoples experiences in relation to education is extremely negative. They have been denied the right to the same education as non-Indigenous students, frequently expelled and continually forced to deny their cultural identity. The discourse of whiteness has resulted in pedagogies and pedagogical practices that are overly racist and not inclusive of Indigenous Peoples culture. To improve future educational outcomes it is necessary to decolonise Australia and rewrite the curriculum so that it is inclusive for all students.
The Australian Curriculum currently is struggling with incorporating indigenous perspectives as a key focus in the curriculum properly. It is lacking the ability to normalise indigenous knowledge and instead represents
In this essay we will try to provide a brief overview of educational issues of Aboriginal communities in Australia and Victoria and the elements that influence the educational outcomes of young Aboriginal people, such as culture and contemporary challenges. In addition to this, the inclusion of Aboriginal content in the Victorian curriculum and classroom practices will be explored as well as contemporary government policies.
Teachers in Australia have the responsibility of catering to the learning needs and abilities of the students in their classroom. Additionally they are also responsible for catering to the unique cultural backgrounds of each student, in particular the cultures of Indigenous Australians. The teacher can cater to the diverse and complex Indigenous cultures by creating a learning environment that is based on effective student engagement for Aboriginal students. Studies have shown that Aboriginal students are currently not academically achieving as well as non-Aboriginal students (What Works: Core Issue 5). Closing the academic performance gap is considered a national priority. As a result, the Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework has been developed to ensure that schools are delivering the best possible education to all students, specifically those who identify as Aboriginal. During term 3, 2017, I completed my final practicum at Baler Primary School in a year 4 classroom. The students in my class came from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds, many of which identified as Aboriginal. Throughout this essay I will use examples from my final practicum at Baler Primary School in South Hedland to discuss how to make learning engaging, accessible and culturally responsive for Aboriginal students.
Indigenous education is utmost challenging to incorporate throughout the holistic approach in schools. This is why educators need to incorporate Indigenous perspectives in all units of work to build a safe, positive, yet constructive learning environment for students, families and the community. By undertaking this all students can learn in different ways to build an understanding of the history, beliefs, and Australian heritage.
Through my life, I have seen several different approaches to Indigenous people’s rights and importance in Australia. I have been fortunate enough to visit Ayers Rock and undertake a tour which allowed me to see Aboriginal culture in art and drawings as well as hearing Dreamtime stories from guides. I have also witnessed family friends who have been severely racist and disrespectful of Indigenous heritage and history. I also was lucky to work with some Indigenous students who were in Reception during my Professional Experience 1, and I was able to see first-hand how a culture clash can affect a student’s behaviour. I feel that even before entering this course, I have had the privilege of being able to observe both positives and negatives
Improving academic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is mired in inherited and contemporary difficulties. Because of poor policies and pedagogy, generations fear and lack confidence in the education system (Harrison and Sellwood, 2013). It is, therefore, imperative that teachers have a range of resources and strategies for adapting the curriculum to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. This should include fostering pride in identity, making connections to community and land, and respecting language variation and culture. In doing so, teachers meet expectations for Australian professional teaching standards and the community.
Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the curriculum has now become a high priority amoungst schools across the nation. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) (2013), recognises “that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority is designed for all students to engage in reconciliation, respect and recognition of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures”. By including this, the curriculum will continue to see Indigenous culture throughout school become part of the norm. Furthermore Indigenous Australian perspectives can and should be included in the classroom and any barriers that arise can be overcome.
The education system which has been operating in Australia and in New South Wales since the time of white settlement has failed to meet the minimal needs of Indigenous Australians. There is a long history of inadequacies in educational programs where Aboriginal Australians are concerned. Unfortunately, it has only been extremely recently (in approximately the last decade), that the importance of adapting the teaching styles in the classrooms to meet the needs of the Aboriginal children of New South Wales and Torres Straits Islanders has begun to be realised (Perry, 2006, 1-2). Part of this has been an acknowledgement that there are fundamental differences existing between the values of the Indigenous and the non-Indigenous Australian. To wit, Australian Aboriginal communities tend to make their focus the welfare of the group, while non-Indigenous Australians tend more to concern themselves with their own individual wellbeing (Harrison, 2004,
As a future educator, it will be my job to continue acknowledging, valuing and teaching Indigenous origins, histories and cultures using the Australian Institute for Teaching and School (AITSL) standard 2.4 and the Australian Curriculum. This will give my future students a better understanding that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were the first custodians of our Australian land and of their origins. They lived in Australia 60,000 years before the British settled in 1788. I will teach an Australian historical time line prior to 1788.
It is vital for teachers to recognise indigenous literacies and aboriginal English in all classrooms as it builds a sense of equality and a non-discriminating environment. As a future teacher I believe that it is my role to create a classroom that mirrors these key factors, as it will build the foundations for a nourishing learning environment. This type of learning environment will aid in linking the students parents and the surrounding community together that encourages an equal society.
Interwoven throughout the learning areas and general capabilities are Cross Curriculum Priorities which encompass Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia and Sustainability (ACARA, 2010c). All three priorities are significant in the current social and economic climate. The integration of these into the curriculum provides young Australians the opportunity to understand and engage in meaningful discussion of these contemporary issues.
Throughout the last fifty years two diametrically opposed views have played out. H.C. Coombs argued that the priority was to use the curriculum and teaching methods to rebuild and sustain traditional Aboriginal culture destroyed by colonisation, racism and oppression. He supported Moira Kingston’s view that all Aborigines had a “world view derived from the Dreaming and irreconcilable with the demands of a modern industrialised market economy.” Sir Paul Hasluck represented the opposing assimiliationist view that schools should give priority to literacy, numeracy and technical and scientific knowledge to asssist integration in the workforce.Many theorists and practitioners have focused on the one third of students in Aboriginal schools with a specifically Aboriginal education rather than the majority attending the same schools as non-Indigenous children. In either case major problems were indentified with Aboriginal education by 2000.