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Anthony Angel

Anthony Angel
Teacher
What was your personal motivation behind participating in this project?

Personal motivation was [that] most Science teachers just told Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and they didn't really get behind the science of what was happening and have a look at and integrate, really, Aboriginal perspectives into the classroom; and so I wanted to change the way and get rid of the idea of just telling Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, and get a bit of practical Aboriginal culture within the classroom.

How did you go about making links with your local Aboriginal community?

I contacted our school ASSPA [Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness] representative who then was so enthusiastic towards the project, started bringing in members of the local Aboriginal community into the school to have meetings with us and really give a lot of ideas, and they were so keen to go with the project.

How has your view or perspective changed on the impact of Aboriginal beliefs and culture on scientific understanding?

My perspective hasn't changed. I've always wanted to really take the students and give them the practical sense. What I wanted to do was change the beliefs and the understanding of other staff members and other Science teachers and get them to really have a look at the scientific concepts behind Aboriginal [culture], especially with the tools and what [the] concepts were, and that was just the avenue I took, so I wanted to change their perspective of what was happening.

What strategies would you use in developing further teaching units to address Aboriginal perspectives in Science?

Next step that we're undertaking is in-servicing my staff on what I've done, showing them student work samples, student responses to the Aboriginal perspectives that we've integrated within the program, and encouraging them to really pick up that next year when we reteach those units. Also, keeping that contact with the community going, to keep on providing excellent ideas, other avenues that we can do and use, and I want to encourage my staff to become involved with that contact as well, keep that contact going so not only with the stone tools we've had a look at, but look at other avenues and look at the Aboriginal environment.

What barriers did you encounter in trying to undertake this project?

In regards to the Aboriginal community, there were no barriers at all. Their enthusiasm towards it was fantastic. The biggest barrier was parents. There is such a ... in the community with just the parents: they don't want their children to undertake some of these tasks and the big problem I had was dealing with the parents and explaining to the parents that this is beneficial to their child.

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