Teaching students about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) culture provides a wonderful opportunity for students to comprehend key terms and topics required by state and school standards (ACARA, 2014). Yet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are seldom systematically taught within a holistic context in Australian schools ( ), and students are consequently often impacted by the school environment ( ). The current approach to embedding Indigenous education revolves around the Australian government’s nation wide program (insert, 2011), focused on embedding Indigenous perspectives across the four action areas of: personal and professional accountabilities; community engagement; organizational environment and curriculum and pedagogy, known as EATSIPS (Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives in Schools).
The national and international trend towards widening participation in education (Education Queensland, 2008) resulting in increasing social diversity of student populations, and a drive towards democratization of learning opportunities. There is a renewed urgency for all staff to embed Indigenous perspectives as a means of addressing and encouraging students to learn, respect and achieve through a secure, supportive and cooperative environment, which recognizes and accepts individual differences, where optimal learning can take place (ACARA, 2014).
An important component of the current Indigenous perspectives approach, is the way in which teachers can self-select particular areas of interest that are relevant to the teachers’ daily work and the provision of opportunities for self-study and reflection, as part of an ongoing process (Education Queensland, 20...
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...t timeframes for each lesson plan. This could allow for the added use of other equipment and concepts within the lesson plans such as audio/visual aids, field trips, and individual or group research projects on this subject. Any of these extra things added to another lesson or as a part of a small unit plan would nicely contribute to expertise. If I were to teach in-depth on this topic, one lesson would not suffice and would not lead to effective learning. For expertise to be accomplished, I would need to create multiple lessons that are currently not available to this subject as this would result in encroaching on other vital subjects within the current time frame of schooling as it is currently structured. This domino effect would therefore need serious restructuring elsewhere in the curriculum to allow for these changes to effectively occur.
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How Might Schools Empower Teachers to Be Better Informed about Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Education
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