Embedding Indigenous perspectives

Embedding Indigenous perspectives

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives should be a natural part of every school day — right across the curriculum.

For most teachers, it is relatively easy to embed aspects of visual and performing arts, English (storying; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors), history, technologies (design), and HPE (Indigenous games; preparing food) and so on. These are just the tip of the iceberg.

Increasingly, aspects of science, math, languages and other areas are proving less difficult than in the past. With the introduction of the Australian curriculum, especially in the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages, the Elaborations indicate many opportunities for embedding perspectives.
See: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/languages/framework-for-aboriginal-languages-and-torres-strait-islander-languages/rationale

However, there are other ways to think about knowing your students. Take for example Nyingari’s experience just recently. She was offended and hurt when another student, herself from a language and cultural background other than English, turned to her and said “You don’t look Aboriginal”. For some of us, the response would be “What does an Aboriginal person look like?”  but Nyingari took great pains to explain about stereotyping and why the comment was hurtful. [1]

In coming to know our students, we begin to realise that stereotyping, parody and misrepresentation are an everyday fact of life. Much of this has been introduced and perpetuated in the media.

[1] Used with permission.