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Reflective Journal

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

Anthony Angel
Anthony Angel

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.

Carol Thurston
Carol Thurston

I think the most important thing is to raise the awareness of where and how Aboriginal perspectives can be included in the curriculum. Since my involvement in the program, our faculty has completed a program audit and reorganised our scope and sequence for Stages 4 and 5 in line with the new syllabus. A new program format allows for the inclusion of an Aboriginal perspective wherever possible and lessons will be developed for most units of work. What I have tried to do is to use material aimed to Aboriginal knowledge and understanding to meet other outcomes. For example, in literacy, I am using an article on natural superglue to teach literacy, specifically affecting ideas and writing a summary, and in ICT, [I'm] constructing a database of Aboriginal technologies. In this way, we can include more Aboriginal perspective material in the classroom activities

Glenn Yates
Glenn Yates

I think we need to build stronger ties with our ASSPA [Aboriginal Student and Parent Awareness] committee members and try to draw more from their knowledge and heritage. The knowledge gained from one half-day field trip with John Oates, our district Aboriginal consultant, for example, was tremendous. This is not as easy as it might sound as often our parents are removed from their cultural heritage. I would also like to ensure that we're properly addressing the units that we've already been incorporating into our programs.

Kerry Whalley
Kerry Whalley

Where to now? We've assessed the success of this pilot program and we plan to introduce more Aboriginal perspectives into other units. The units will contain student research projects on 'Dreaming Ecology', 'Aboriginal Animal and Plant Classification, Aboriginal Seasons and their Use of Bush Food'. The area that we found that required change is to forge a stronger link with the Aboriginal community.

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