In reference to the Aboriginal Education and Training
Strategy 2006-2008, the main goal of the New South Wales (NSW) Aboriginal
Education and Training Policy was to ensure that the results of the Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander students will equal or even outshine the wide
population of students (Rose, 2011). This
policy brings about the requirements for all the staff to aim at some three
guidelines for effective implementation: relations, engagement and ongoing
learning. The NSW AETS 2006-2008 outlines the way in which the Department of
Education and Training, partnering with relevant partners focuses its efforts
on: a cultural change to create perspectives and activities in line with the
Aboriginal education and training into all areas of the system, upgrading
learning results for the Aboriginal students and changed set of activities to
enforce workplace involvement for the Aboriginal people. In keeping with
Rose (2011) the strategy has been made with
intent on the work of schools, colleges, regions, TAFE Institutes and state
office directorates towards achieving the common goal.
In order to be able to implement the strategies, partnering
with NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc at all levels then becomes
a priority. The directorates from the schools, colleges, regions TAFE Institutes
and the state office are responsible for creating and carrying out the suitable
actions from the strategy (Carbines et al. 2007).
To involve the Aboriginal natives to be leaders, teachers,
experts, administrators and public servants is of crucial importance to the
cultural and educational transformation foreseen in the review. Collaborating
with the parents is of great significance to help improve the expectations of
these Aboriginal students. While working hard in order to raise the results of
the Aboriginal students, these actions help to ensure that the message of
Aboriginal education been Everybody’s Core Business is maintained.
The NSW Department of Education and Training with the NSW
Aboriginal Education Consultative Group produced a report on the Review of the
Aboriginal Education in which several strategies to be used in among schools to
achieve the main goal (NSW DET & AECG, 2004). Some of the strategies outlined
here include approaches and practices of classroom teaching, the knowhow of the
Aboriginal students by their teachers, the worthiness of working with the
Aboriginal people and the relationships between school and home lives.
Harrison (2011) indicates that to improve the
literacy and the numeracy skills of the Aboriginal students as according to the
NSW DET & AECG, 2004, is basically dependent on the teaching practices and the
strategies exercised within the classrooms. This review points out that there
are some classes and schools having pleasant results on the effects to the
Aboriginal students as they register high improvement rates in the learning
outcomes. As some teachers pointed out their willingness in helping the
Aboriginal students in the classes, they feared of uncertainty about the
strategies that would work well and how to attain the outcomes through the
teachings in classes.
Another strategy is language. It is an important constituent
of the happenings in the classrooms (Harrison, 2011). It‘s an underlying aspect of socialism. By identifying a
person’s needs for language and literacy while providing a healthy language
surrounding, and by the upholding of the Aboriginal English as a most essential
element of language will help the Aboriginal students to grow their literacy
skills. The Aboriginal languages strengthen the people’s sense of belonging and
especially to their country hence the need for recognition of the mutual
dependency of the language and how it represents their identity and land. To
increase the Aboriginal English in the classroom studies raises the value and
the acceptance of the language bringing about empowerment, celebration and a
sense of acceptance of their culture and heritage. Apart from relating to the
Aboriginal students, this strategy also teaches Indigenous perspectives to the
All the students have been found to benefit
from developing knowledge and acceptance of the Aboriginal identity which then
encourages inclusiveness and appreciates the fact that there is still the
existence of racism in Australia. Some strategies that have been found to
improve the Aboriginal students’ skills include, literacy workshops designed for
the parents, study of texts that are culturally incorporated as well as
developing literacy within Aboriginal English and the Standard Australian
The merging together of the several techniques of teaching
while appreciating the Aboriginal forms of teaching and learning, and using a
several testing methods also puts an impact on the Aboriginal learning and
development. When one uses the natives’ tutoring techniques, the students’
liking and the value of the class improves. Students will show their strengths
and also their weaknesses when different types of assessments are used and these
can then be developed in classes to come.
In keeping with Carbines et al.
(2007), Aboriginal students have been found to have
the highest rates of drop-outs and poor academic performances.
However, if the teacher is well versed with the cultural attributes of
the students and is also trained in responsive teaching methods, this can be
averted. A teacher is required to comprehend and admit the Aboriginal students,
their language and the life experiences in order to create a relationship with
them since a teacher-student (Aboriginal) relationship is vital. An important
aspect for Aboriginal students that helps them have a sense of cultural identity
in the classes is the acknowledgement of their individuality, socio-cultural
differences and their home backgrounds by the teaching programs.
Quality teaching is attributed to the provision of a strong
collaboration culture with the Aboriginal locals and teachers working in unity
in order to increase the knowledge and understanding of a teacher within the
teaching strategies. Programs such as the Reading Recovery Initiative and
Aboriginal Early Language Development Program are among many other
programs designed to assist in development of the Aboriginal students skills.
The teachers are faced with a requirement to know and understand the
requirements of a syllabus, the preferred results and the productive teaching
strategies. The knowledge of the Aboriginal students by working on relationships
among the Aboriginal locals, Aboriginal workers and the Aboriginal students’
families and making use of the relationships in a teaching concept ends up in a
fruitful and quality education for the Aboriginal students.
Incorporating the Aboriginal people and the communities in
the development and the planning of programs that will be used for teaching is
an essential and profitable tool, since this has been a fundamental in the
development of the Aboriginal syllabus.
NSW DET & AECG (2004, p74) comments that involving the
Aboriginal people and communities in the classes benefits Aboriginal and non-
Aboriginal students teachers and other staff. According to Carbines
et a l (2007) this can be achieved by recruiting
Aboriginal teachers and their aids, having parents and/or community members
serve as mentors or tutors in the normal classrooms, and including parents when
addressing individual problems with behaviours. This involvement can occur
outside the classrooms, also by field trips or community events. Incorporating
guest speakers from the Aboriginal community within teaching programs helps to
motivate the students providing a diversification within role models and giving
room for various kinds of teaching techniques. These assist to create positive
relationships among the students and the teachers.
Replacing of the home language with English other than
incorporating it as an additional language can raise concerns with parents been
indignant of English teachings. This can bring a failure to understand and help
their children in the SAE format or even work along them to increase the
socialisation skills (Fillmore, 2000). Teachers who fail to adopt the
incorporation of race, social class and gender can bring about misunderstanding
of what happens in schools.
Adopting multi-cultural strategies of teaching, increasing
understanding and awareness of needs and culture of Aboriginal students and
incorporating the Aboriginal locals gives the Aboriginal students opportunities
to attain equal results and can further curb challenges of homework completion,
absenteeism and behaviour challenges.
Section 1.1.2 of the Aboriginal Education and Training Policy
(AETP) gives a goal that Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Islander students
should be equal to or even be better that of the larger student population (Keeffe,
1992). In achieving this goal, there are strategies
which include training of teachers, incorporation of community people, doing
away with racism in the learning and its environs and nurturing a future with no
racial differences by education.
The focus of the NSW Department of Education and Training
(DET) is to remove racism in the syllabus and curriculum documents and also
the learning environs. The NSW DET Racism No Way! (200)
aims at providing education on the effects of the racial differences, provision
of a supportive and inclusive learning surrounding, meeting the staff needs as
well as those of the community and students, and how to build a harmonious
community through education (NSW BOF, 2008).
The objectives of the Anti-racism Policy include; rejection
of all kinds of racism by the department that aims to eliminate racism within
itself and all the areas it governs, its culture and from all documentations.
NSW DET RNW (2000) indicates that with the other objectives giving power and
been based on the first objective, they state that nobody should experience
racism within the learning or working areas, its everyone’s role to fight
racism, and there is a professional support whenever needed. Moral and legal
duties exist to ensure that learning and working environs are free from racism
and that the policies and practises don’t discriminate either on the basis of
culture, language, ethnic group or even religion.
The commitment to remove racism in
schools curriculum alongside making teachers and the other staffs responsible
for racism eradication in the learning environs is a main aspect of the DET
policy that will greatly help the AETP in its goals to clear racism. Removal of
racism from the classrooms and documents in the syllabus will develop a more
supportive environment where the Aboriginal students can aim on achieving,
training and growing their skills instead of been demoralised as a result of
their identities. According to NSW DET 2000, p 25, schools are expected to be
places where children and the young people are empowered to know better
themselves, other people and the world around them through development of
cross-cultural knowledge and awareness of those attitudes which allow racism to
The Anti-Racism Policy is a big progress to compel teachers
and the responsible educational staff to get aware of racial issues, preparing
and teaching the students to be culturally friendly within the Australian
Society. Training the teachers and other relevant personnel of meeting the needs
of the Aboriginal students and local communities is a main goal in the NSW DET
Racism. No Way! (2000). It is important since in each area of Australia there is
different cultural diversity. Schools should therefore be positive on diversity
and develop an enabling contribution from everyone. Teaching the tutors of ways
to meet Aboriginal student’s needs in the classrooms would enable the students
to develop their skills to attain similar or better results compared to the non-
The Racism. No Way! And the Anti- Racism Policy
give importance of incorporating the Aboriginal communities and professionals in
the education system, from developing the curriculum and the lesson plans to the
tutoring in the classes. The Aboriginal people have within themselves the
possession of the required skills, knowledge and expertise to genuinely perceive
the studies in schools since they are the best custodians for their cultures and
In the Anti- Racism Policy it is found that teachers have a
role to give aid to learners develop an understanding of racism and separation
and their effects on the individuals and the community at large. Teachers are
also capable of cultivating their students with multi-culture mentality through
their understanding and encouraging relationships of different cultures.
Both the learning institutions and the teachers perform an
important task of preparing and equipping children to be productive members of
the society and thus in Australia, teachers will play a role in the creation of
a society free of racism.
How would you teach the below concept on ideas at a 7-10
level through Aboriginal studies alignment with the key statement and supported
through the policies?
Consultation is necessary while establishing a local focus on syllabus
perspectives and content related to the Aboriginal people. This is especially
vital in the teaching of the Years 7-10 and Stage 6 Aboriginal Studies and K-10
Aboriginal languages syllabuses. The Aboriginal people should be consulted,
since they are the custodians and owners of their knowledge and cultures.
Years 7-10 Aboriginal Studies Syllabus states that to be an Aboriginal is
not an issue of the physical manifestation of the Aboriginal identity, but it
incorporates cultural heritage, spirituality and intrinsic links with the land.
The Dreaming stories as used in teaching the Aboriginal young children
should be used well in the classrooms and not be taken to be fairy stories and
myths. They are the uniting power of a succession from the past to the present
and to the future for the Aboriginal people. The stories explain creation and
handle people’s responsibilities to care for their land and one another. As a
child grows and matures, they are able to understand the stories at a greater
depth since they are multilayered in meaning.
The aboriginal students from the school one is teaching need to know the
dreaming stories and even more specifically, know Dreaming stories from their
own country. The teachers should be aware that some Aboriginal students may find
it hard to trace the past and know their family histories. Teachers should
encourage all the students to regard important their past and the present
identity. Some parents and grandparents of the students may be members of the
stolen generations and this makes it difficult for them to trace their links. In
this case, community knowledge and encouragement about family names can help
build a strong individual identity. For an Aboriginal Dreaming story to be
recorded, permissions should be sought for from the storyteller and the
community. This is because the stories are the intellectual property of the
community from which they are originated.
Carbines, R., Wyatt, T. & Robb, L. (2007). Evaluation of the Mathematics
in Indigenous Contexts Project: A report prepared for the Office of the NSW
Board of Studies, Sydney, NSW: Erebus International & NSW BOS, pp. 21-31
Harrison, N. (2011). Building community trust and collaboration. In N.
Harrison Teaching and learning in Aboriginal education.South Melbourne, VIC:
Oxford University Press.
Keeffe, K. (1992).From the Centre to the City: Aboriginal
Education,Culture and Power,Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, pp. 48-58.
New South Wales Board of Studies (BOS) (2008).Working with Aboriginal
Communities: A Guide to Community Consultation and Protocols, Sydney: NSW BOS,
New South Wales Department of Education and Training (DET)
(2005).Anti-Racism Policy, Sydney, NSW: NSW DET.
New South Wales Department of Education and Training (DET). (2000).
Racism. No way! A guide for Australian schools, Sydney: Conference of Education
Systems Chief Executive Officers, , pp. 24-31.
New South Wales Department of Education and Training (DET). (2008).
Aboriginal Education and Training Policy: An Introductory Guide. Sydney, NSW:
NSW DET, Aboriginal Education and Training Directorate.
NSW BOS (2003). Aboriginal Languages K-10 syllabus.Sydney, NSW: NSW BOS,
pp. 5- 10.
NSW DET & AECG (2004, pp. 73-80, 100), 2004). Report of the Review of
Aboriginal Education: Yanigurra Muya: Ganggurrinyma Yaarri Guurulaw
Yirringingurray/Freeing the Spirit: Dreaming an Equal Future, Sydney, NSW: NSW
DET. pp. 73-80, 95-100.
Rose, D. (2011) Teaching reading and writing to Aboriginal children. In N.
Harrison Teaching and learning in Aboriginal education. South Melbourne, VIC:
Oxford University Press. pp. 87-115.