1.4 Strategies for teaching Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students

Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

Through discussions I have come to learn about the importance of culture and linguistic background to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students.

My practicum at Newcastle High was probably the most interaction I had with indigenous students. They used ‘Sentral’ as their school management system and this software would highlight particular facts about the students. A flag next to the students name identified them as being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Newcastle High saw this cultural difference as a very important aspect to the school community. Indigenous students had access to the ‘Cooee Cottage’ which is an onsite building set up as a support hub for ATSI students. It is run by aboriginal elders and they organise things like cultural dance groups, learning support and community liaison.

An example of identifying cultural diversity in the classroom was during a Year 7 subject called ‘The Passion Project’. This was a year 7 & 8 subject where students are to align themselves with a particular teacher who has a particular passion for something. These passions were to be shared with the student.  My mentor teacher had a passion for making unusual instruments such as the ‘Can-jo’ and the ‘cigar box’ guitar. While I was there the students were to come up with an artwork for another interesting instrument called the ‘One String Lap Steel Diddley Bow’.

Knowing there was some aboriginal students in the class, he spoke about aboriginal dot paintings as a source of inspiration for the decoration and a couple of students actually ended up going down that path.













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