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Fred Domingo

Fred Domingo
Teacher
What was your personal motivation behind participating in this project?

I was seconded by Jane Pearce, the Mt Druitt District Consultant, to this program and I took this program on as I believe my understanding of the Aboriginal culture is very limited. So by doing this, hopefully, I would have increased my awareness of the culture.

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

Within the local area, St Marys, it was difficult to find any Aboriginal contacts, so I had to search the district level and found help from the following people: District Office consultants, Aboriginal Educational Assistants and local Elders.

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

My understanding of the Aboriginal culture was very limited. I had no idea that the traditional tools they used in their day-to-day life follow the same scientific principles of forces in motion. By being involved in this project, it made me appreciate the Aboriginal culture. I think all students should be exposed to the Indigenous culture, so that they can realise that scientific laws and principles are applicable to any society.

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

Firstly, you need to find when Aboriginal perspective can best serve your teaching programs. Consultation and collaboration with the Aboriginal community and Elders is crucial to ensure that Aboriginal views presented are clear and not distorted. Make sure that Aboriginal perspectives are clearly understood by teachers and explicitly taught. You also have to be aware of the possible cultural differences and barriers.

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

Not having enough knowledge of the culture has been a barrier. I had to do extensive reading and also talk to some people from the Aboriginal community, for example, the local Elders and the Aboriginal consultants. Time and resources were also the main barriers. This project has taken almost a year to do. Although funding was provided, getting relief from teaching proved to be quite difficult.

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?

Being a part of this program, I now have extensive knowledge of the Aboriginal culture and it is now my duty to in-service the whole staff of Erskine Park High School as to the process that I've gone through in incorporating Aboriginal perspectives in school-based programs. I will then try to re-evaluate the Science programs and try to ensure that Aboriginal perspectives are addressed and included in these programs. I will try to continue to maintain contact with people that I've worked with who have now become my friends, support team and contacts. And due to these programs in which I've been involved, my awareness and understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture has improved and increased.

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