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Monica BCHCEDS024 – Use educational strategies to support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander educationIt is important that staff understand their organisations policies and legislation guidelines in order for workplace procedures and decisions to be completed legally, efficiently and consistently within the organisation. Workplace policies are an integral part of running an effective organisation by instructing employees on the correct and preferred way of performing their job roles safely and successfully. Compliance of these procedures produce many benefits in the workplace and can be clarified by educating and sharing new information by updating policies if there has been a procedure change or a legal obligation to comply with new laws.
This can be done through staff meetings, training courses or written and verbal updates.Valuing diversity is important as all children come from a variety of backgrounds with differing religious beliefs, cultures, interests and abilities. Creating an inclusive environment for all children teaches the students respect, awareness and understanding for each other’s differing ideals.
It is important to embrace diversity positively so all students feel valued and respected. Educators should take the time to establish relationships with their students families to learn about the background and cultures of their students and use this knowledge to incorporate it into lessons to teach students about different cultures other than their own. Here are three examples of activities that can promote positive relationships and diversity in the classroom:1. Bush Tucker. Community members can be invited into the classroom to share and discuss bush tucker – plants and animals that Indigenous people ate or used for medicinal purposes.
Children can learn the plants traditional Noongar names and translate them into English. Children can draw pictures or make up charts in small groups. Children can then go on a walk trail and see if they can identify any of the plants or animals that they have discussed in the classroom.2. Dot Painting. Teachers can explain that the Indigenous culture did not have a written language so their history and stories were presented as artwork. Teachers can show the children a collection of Aboriginal art alongside the story that the art is representing and discuss the symbols that are shown in the artwork. Children can experiment with their own artwork depicting a story that has happened in their own life.3. Stories. Teachers can explain how stories are used to teach children about their history, ancestors, the creation of land, environment and about behaviour. Community members can be invited into the classroom to share traditional stories with the children. The children can rewrite one of the stories into a play and present the play to the wider school community, sharing what they have learnt about Indigenous culture.The traditional owners to the land is recognising the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first owners of the land and acknowledging that the land and water has sacred and traditional connections, through cultural laws and customs, to the Indigenous people. Using appropriate people to gain knowledge about culture and local areas is important in gaining correct and trusted information. Knowledge about local regions and cultural identities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can be gained through Elders from the local community. An Elder is a respected person within an Aboriginal community that shows deep understanding of their culture and is recognised as the custodian of knowledge and lore, and who has the permission of their community to disclose information, beliefs and knowledge. It is important to know the community that surrounds your school and understand their cultural history and traditional owners. Community engagement is essential in providing support to educational programs and embedding Indigenous culture into the school learning framework and school community. By developing strong partnerships with the traditional owners, you are able to work cooperatively and collaboratively towards a unified goal through education their children.Including Indigenous content into education programs can benefit Indigenous students by allowing them to identify with their own culture which enhances their pride in their self-identity. It also allows an understanding of their own history and how it was influenced through colonisation and provides the opportunity for Indigenous children to share their culture and beliefs with their peers, allowing for understanding, awareness and respect from the members of the classroom to the wider community.Activities that can be included into lesson programs can include traditional and cultural artwork, storytelling, music, language translations, videos and books. By engaging Indigenous children in learning and increasing their engagement in education, it will help close the gap that disadvantages Indigenous children compared to non-indigenous children in their future endeavours. By successfully promoting Indigenous culture in the school environment, Indigenous children can feel welcomed and respected within the school community. The children will develop a better teacher to student relationship and feel a sense of belonging in the classroom. All these positive attributes will lead to higher education success and sense of self worth among Indigenous children. The benefits to the wider community can’t be overlook either. It will develop a mutual respect between differing cultures and an openness to the values and beliefs that other cultures live by, and a broader community engagement between cultures.Protocols are unwritten rules or procedures that govern cultures or organisations. Specifically, cultural protocols are the customs, lore and codes of behaviour which you show respect to, when conversing with a particular cultural group. These protocols exist as a standard of behaviour so people can show respect to one another. Culturally respectful community engagement is respecting the Indigenous culture, heritage and the protocols of the community. It is built on open and clear communication between communities and educators which develops strong, trusting and respectful relationships between the two cultures. Engagement must be flexible with time and educators must be open to learning the ways of the community. Local community participation is important in sharing their culture and collaborating on ideas and decisions that impact on students within their community.Community members are an essential part of the support and development of educational programs as it shows cooperation, trust and respect between the community and education systems. The community involvement can come from being involved with students inside and outside of the the classroom by participating in learning activities and supporting and respecting teachers and the role they play in the education of the students. By providing support to educational programs it helps embed Indigenous culture into the school learning framework and school community. By developing strong partnerships schools and communities are able to work cooperatively and collaboratively towards a unified goal of education.It is important that learning environments are tailored through pastoral care initiatives and learning strategies to meet the specific needs of Indigenous children. Students should be provided with learning, social and emotional support in the classroom and with their relationships between peers and teachers. The benefits will be a positive improvement with the students educational level, self confidence, self respect and respect for others. Four ways that educators can specifically tailor learning environments for Indigenous children are: 1.Curriculum – Educators can include Indigenous culture into lesson plans. 2.School culture – Schools can promote Indigenous culture through displaying artwork, the Aboriginal flag and acknowledging the traditional owners through ‘Welcome to Country’ at school events and assembly’s. 3.Training – Ensuring staff are trained and knowledgeable and have adequate resources available to support Indigenous children. 4. Support – Encouraging students in their learning and individual abilities and being approachable and sympathetic to their individual needs and being available to help. Supporting parents in their role as educators and carers outside of the classroom.Six ways to develop your own skills and knowledge about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture are: 1. Community engagement through talking with community members and attending events. 2. Attend personal development and training seminars. 3. Visit museums that show collections from Indigenous cultures. 4. Watch videos and read books. 5. Use skills and advice from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural educators. 6. Listen to traditional and modern forms of Indigenous music.Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are recognised as one of the oldest living cultures in the world, dating back to at least 50,000 years. There was no traditional Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander written language so the Indigenous culture was oral and they used drawings of symbols and icons to depict stories about their history, land, beliefs and events in life. The fist evidence of Aboriginal philosophy is art, still visible on rock, that was painted more than 20,000 years ago. Indigenous art is about storytelling and their way of passing on knowledge and information through the generations. They used ochres from natural clay’s in the earth as body paint, or to paint on rocks and bark.Aboriginal artists require permission to paint certain stories if the stories do not belong to them through their family. The right to paint particular stories are passed down through generational skin groups.When buying Indigenous artwork there are ethical behaviours that you should follow to preserve the sanctity of the art. Make sure that you pay a fair price to the artist for their work and don’t expect to buy the artwork at an unreasonably cheap price. If you are not buying the artwork directly from the artist, make sure the artwork is not fake or a forgery, painted by a Non-indigenous person, or false authentication or information about the traditional artist.When displaying Indigenous artwork, you should acknowledge the cultural value of the work, the artist and the community they are from, alongside the artwork. Always consult with the artist on whether the art is suitable for public viewing and ask whether or not they would like to make a formal presentation about the artwork.Artwork and posters are important items to be displayed to show your organisations Indigenous cultural awareness. It is a sign to Indigenous people that they are respected and welcome in the space. Organisations can also use traditional languages in informative posters to notify Indigenous people of messages that they might miss or misunderstand if English is their second language.Ten strategies that educators can use to communicate with students with hearing loss are: 1. Ensure background noise is kept to a minimum. 2. Adjust the lighting in the room to allow the student to see your face clearly. 3. Do not hide your face behind your hand, microphone or books. Facial hair can also be a deterrent in lip reading. Do not talk with your back to the student if explaining things on the white board. 4. Seat the child at the front so there are no distractions in their line of vision. 5. All verbal information should also be given in written form. 6. Allow the child longer to complete tasks. 7. Any video’s or films that students watch should be captioned. 8. Classroom discussions should be controlled so only one person speaks at a time. 9. Support the student in all areas of learning as hearing loss can impact on literacy and numeracy. 10. Before speaking, say the students name, or signal for their attention before beginning to talk.I chose to document and research this activity because I personally didn’t have an awareness of how the European seasons differed from the Noongar seasons, how this was represented in their culture and what the seasons were based on. The seasons documented in this activity are based on the communities in the Narrogin District, Western Australia. I hope you find it equally as interesting!”THE NOONGAR SEASONS”Curriculum Information: This lesson is suitable for children in middle childhood, ranging from ages eight to twelve and involves the major learning areas of The Arts, English and Society and Environment. The lesson will provide value to the child’s self acceptance and respect of self and the respect and concern for others and their rights.Purpose: This lesson will provide students with the information to explore the differences between the European and Noongar seasons.Key Points of Lesson: European seasons are based on climatic conditions at particular dates throughout the year. Noongar seasons are a division of the year based on seasonal changes that could be long or short depending on what is happening and changing around them, rather than based on dates. Changes include, what food is available, the weather cycle, the flowering of different plants and the hibernation of animals. The Indigenous culture has a deep understanding and respect for the land and animal cycles and their preservation and this is evident in their construction of the Noongar seasons.There are six Noongar seasons: 1. Bunuru: hot eastery and north winds from February to March. 2. Djeran: becoming cooler with winds from southwest from April to March. 3. Makuru: cold and wet with westerly gales from June to July. 4. Djilba: becoming warmer from August to September. 5. Kambarang: rain decreasing from October to November. 6. Birak: hot and dry with easterly winds during the day and south west sea breezes in the late afternoon from December to January.Preparation: Guest speakers, Aboriginal staff members or Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer’s, would be welcomed to contribute to the lesson by discussing, storytelling and answering questions about the seasons to the class. Research background information about the seasons so you understand what you are teaching and practice saying the words representing the Noongar seasons.Implementation: As a whole class, share with the students all your knowledge about the difference in European and Noongar seasons and allow guest speakers to speak about their experiences through stories and discussions. In small groups create a map of the season’s using the information they have developed through the discussion. The maps can use a variety of images and written words. The maps can be displayed around the classroom and used throughout the year to remind the children of the changes in the environment and how this is relating to the the dates in the European seasons.
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