Essay about Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Learning Styles

Essay about Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Learning Styles

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In recent years, researchers have established a significant link between culture and the way in which children think and learn (Hughes, More & Williams, 2004; Yunkaporta, 2009). With this in mind, teachers must recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are learners coming to school with distinct learning styles and worldviews (Howard, Perry, Lowes, Ziems & McKnight, 2003; Hughes et al., 2004). Within primary school settings, competing worldviews must be addressed in curriculum planning in order to maintain continual engagement, attendance and improve academic achievement. Furthermore, educators must develop a strong and flexible pedagogical base that centres on the various learning styles of First Nations people if they are to be successfully incorporated into broader school curricula. Given these assertions, this essay will discuss specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples learning styles that have been advocated in recent decades, detail two approaches teachers can use to facilitate quality teaching and learning experiences for First Australians, and support the call for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learning styles to be incorporated into school practice.
In recent decades, various learning styles have been advocated by researches concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In the 1970’s, educators and researchers began formulating foundational theories of First Australian’s pedagogy that suggested a ‘Two-way’ and ‘Both-ways’ schooling approach (Hughes et al., 2004; Sarra, 2011; Yunkaporta, 2009). At the forefront of these studies was Stephen Harris who began research into the learning styles of First Australians at Milingimbi in the Northern Territory. Harris’s (1980, 1984)...


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... understand not praise a child in front of the whole class, as they may be subjected to ridicule, disrespect or scorn from fellow peers in the playground (Sarra, 2011). Instead, teachers’ knowledge of these socio-cultural contexts can still support a high expectations classroom by addressing the student away from the class cohort to offer praise, admiration and delight in their effort. Various other approaches can be used to promote a high expectation environment within the classroom such as using positive reinforcement, making the leaning experiences about contexts that children are into as well as using practical hands – on examples to convey the message. It is only with informed insight; deep knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples learning styles that they can be successfully and continually incorporated into school practice.

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