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Paul Rayner

Paul Rayner
Teacher
What was your personal motivation behind participating in this project?

I've always been interested in what the Aboriginal people have been able to contribute to Science. I knew there was something a lot more than bush tucker and tools and I wanted to investigate that more thoroughly and see where it led.

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

Being a teacher in the Catholic Education system, I've found it appropriate to deal with my Aboriginal consultant in at the Catholic Education Office. She was very helpful in being able to get the links within the community and resources generally.

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

Having spent quite a long time now working on this project, I've come to a realisation there's a deeper understanding of Science that exists within the Aboriginal community. It's not just simply bush tucker, tools and wandering around the countryside, but really there was a scientific method within the community.

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

By looking at the syllabus and the programs that would be at the school, I'd be identifying the outcomes that would need to satisfy the perspectives. I'd be working collaboratively with members within the Department and hopefully having a common sense approach in a practical sense so that it's not tokenistic but meeting the needs of the class that you had at the time.

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

One of the barriers that I found was that with 300 Aboriginal nations across the country, finding information that actually pertained to an Aboriginal community that was local, and finding information that directly dealt with those people might not exist and sometimes the Aboriginal information was generic rather than exclusive just to the local community.

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?

Having worked on this project, I now feel that I can go back to the department and work with my colleagues in professionally developing them and giving them the confidence to implement various Aboriginal perspectives into their teaching practices and showing them what can be done and where.

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