1. Home
  2. Secondary 7-10
  3. Science
  4. Units of work and teaching sequences
  5. Story 3 - Wollongong
  6. Reflective Journal
  7. Denise Hogan
Print this page Reduce font size Increase font size

Denise Hogan

Denise Hogan
Science Consultant
How did you go about making links with your local Aboriginal community?

Making links with the local Aboriginal community, I found it was appropriate to go through the DET [Department of Education and Training] personnel who would have some knowledge of which community members had particular expertise. But in the past when I'd worked as an ASSPA [Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness] committee member, I'd found the community was very very welcoming and there were strong networks that could be used.

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

I could see parallels to how Science works. Aboriginal people making observations and building up experience and making predictions from that. So in a way, it parallels scientific laws. Things that always happen, being written as a law by observing their environment, I guess. There are definite parallels there.

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

I like the idea of frequently putting perspectives into a broad number of units. And it may be in the knowledge and understanding area, it may be the PFAs [Prescribed Focus Areas], with different cultural ideas. But there's also the possibility in skill areas. Could we set a problem-solving skill in an Aboriginal context? Could we get raw statistics and use those where some issue of concern to the Aboriginal community emerges from the students' analysis of those, just in the trends in the statistics? So I think there are a lot of ways, but little and often.

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

Well, there was a general barrier, in that perhaps an insecurity and wanting to respect Aboriginal cultural knowledge, knowing that I had knowledge deficits in this area. And desiring to do the right thing and worrying that I mightn't.

Where to from here? What will you do in future to plan for and implement Aboriginal perspectives content into your Years 7-10 science teaching-learning program?

Working through the new syllabus, I think it's important to consider the context of the school and the local community and to integrate activities at a number of levels. Sometimes, it might be just metaphors and stories in lessons, sometimes, the lesson cluster model and sometimes, having a look at the skills, problem-solving activities where statistics or Aboriginal context could be used to solve a particular problem. I think the thinking outcomes are particularly suitable here.

Print this page Reduce font size Increase font size