Introduction 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. A. Inclusive practice for Indigenous students Fostering pride Teachers should foster self-worth, confidence and self-efficacy among Aboriginal students. This is important because it can help overcome intergenerational trauma (Menzies, 2013). Schools have played a significant role in creating this trauma in the past through successive bad policy and pedagogy (Harrison & Sellwood, 2016). For example, past practices included low expectations and inappropriate materials with an aim to assimilate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Harrison & Sellwood, 2016). Good pedagogy develops students based on pride and confidence and negates shame and confusion (Goodman cited in Department of education and training WA, 2007). For example, the program in Cherbourg State School aims to develop pride in Aboriginal
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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
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have faced disadvantages in various areas, particularly housing. The disadvantages these people face now are the result of policies introduced by the European settlers, then the government. The policies introduced were protection, assimilation, integration and self-determination. It is hard to understand the housing disadvantages faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people if their history is not known.
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.
The participation and full engagement of all students in education is a ‘key factor affecting the life chances of all Australians’ (Buckley & Armstrong, 2011, p. 62). It is clear from current statistical information, that participation and eventual success in educational studies is particularly vital for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who among us all have the lowest level of participation in education (Buckley & Armstrong, 2011). Ockenden (2014) notes that whilst more Indigenous students are completing Year 12 than ever before, there still exists a significant gap between educational achievement in literacy, numeracy
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.
The important relationship building teachers must conduct with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is another key issue teachers must keep in mind for working successfully with Indigenous students. Price (2012) argues that teachers hold a special place in the Indigenous community, especially with parents and caregivers. She states that by “mastering the craft” of teaching, you will be rewarded both personally and professionally over the years of your career (Price, 2012). Over the last 30 years, a number of prepositions have been put forward that will assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to become emotionally healthy, so they can live out their entitlement to becoming a dignified citizen of Australia and the world (Price, 2012).
Embedding Indigenous perspectives are paramount for all students to advance as learners/active participants within society. Entrenching Indigenous perspectives via our mandated curriculum and three cross-curriculum framework concepts simultaneously helps learners develop a sense of identity. Students’ will build connections to ‘country/place’, ‘people’ via language and experiences, and ‘societies’ through the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
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.
Education is fundamental to growth, the growth of the individual, and the growth of a nation. Anthropologically this can be seen from the earliest of developments of human societies where practices emerge to ensure the passing of accumulated knowledge from one generation to the next. In the centuries since the invasion and colonisation of Australia in 1788, colonist authorities and governments have dominated the making of policies regarding most major aspects of Australian life, including the lives of Indigenous Australians. The enactment of these policies and legislation, whether targeted at society as a whole or directly at education, has had significant and most often negative causal impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, resulting in not only poor educational outcomes, but the loss of cultural identity, the development of serious issues in health and wellbeing, and the restriction of growth of Aboriginal communities. Moreover, there has been an ongoing pattern of the adoption of ill-informed policies in Australia, resulting in these poor outcomes and cultural decimation. Aboriginal people have developed a wariness, a mistrust, and even an attitude of avoidance to engage with non-Indigenous officials and those who they associate as their representatives, i.e. personnel working within
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.
Topic: Discuss ways of incorporating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures into classroom curriculum. In your essay you may wish to develop your ideas using the Australian Curriculum conceptual framework for embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.
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.
Education is important to the survival of a community through the perseverance of language and culture, through the cultivation of learning in the belief that all should have the chance to share in life and as otherwise stated by John Dewey (1916), "a process of living and not a preparation for future living." As we understand it - it is a process of inviting truth and possibility, of encouraging and giving time to discovery. (Smith, 2015). Education is therefore defined as the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university setting, However, this issue of receiving and or giving systematic instruction has long been the central debate of many Aboriginal (and other minority) communities as the individuals
Furthermore, it has been established that the continuousness of “social disadvantage” (Dobia & O’Rourke, 2011, p.5) for Indigenous Australian students, can “act as a barrier to learning” (AIHW, 2014, p.4). Students may become “disengaged” (AIHW, 2014, p.6) from a combination of various social factors, and may develop mental health disorders, resulting in these students avoiding or performing poorly in school. The ways that Indigenous Australian students are affected by “social disadvantages” (Dobia & O’Rourke, 2011, p.5) vary, however, research suggests that they continue to include a combination of major contributing stress factors such as “low parental income, low education attendance, cultural differences” (Commonwealth of Australia, 2007), and, a “high degree of chronic health conditions in the family” (Telethon Kids Institute, 2006, p.38). Purdie and Buckley (2010) propose that “the lack of recognition by schools of Indigenous culture and history, the failure to fully engage parents and the community, and, the ongoing disadvantage in many areas of the daily lives of Indigenous Australians” (p.3), has continued to act as a consequence in the classroom for Indigenous Australian students. This has resulted in the continued decrease of educational outcomes for Indigenous Australian students.