Aboriginal knowledge

Diagram Module 1
(Cheree Dean, CSU 2013)
Aboriginal Perspectives
and Knowledge
“…it became clear that there is considerable
confusion between Aboriginal perspectives
and Aboriginal knowledge with both
concepts being used interchangeably to
teach syllabus content and information
about Aboriginal people.”
Neil Harrison and Maxine Greenfield (2007) p1
Aboriginal Knowledge
“Aboriginal content presented without an
Aboriginal framework of values or pedagogy
only damages relations and marginalises
Aboriginal learners.”
(Yunkaporta, Tyson p 188)
Aboriginal Knowledge
“…teachers also need to analyse what
knowledge and perspectives are appropriate to
include in the curriculum and what the
pedagogy does to students in terms of their
expectations and images and how they talk
about Aboriginal people.”
(Harrison and Greenfield p69)
Aboriginal Knowledge
…” approaching Aboriginal or even mainstream
content explicitly through an Aboriginal
pedagogy framework improves student
engagement, student behaviour, quality of
student work, deep knowledge, intellectual
connectedness and high expectations.”
(Yunkaporta p 163)
Aboriginal Knowledge
“These in turn raise standards for quality
teaching and increase work satisfaction for
(Yunkaporta p163)
Aboriginal Knowledge
Knowledge in the Aboriginal world view is’
owned’ by a person or group and they choose
with whom they wish to share it.
An Aboriginal person owns their narratives
which are often related to place( ‘country’).
Aboriginal Knowledge
Aboriginal knowledge is different from
Aboriginal content and is not something that
can be presented out of context and must be
grounded in place.
Aboriginal knowledge comes from the
community and so it meets these
Aboriginal Knowledge
“…quality teaching in Aboriginal Education is
‘about respecting Aboriginal people as the
traditional knowledge holders.”
(Harrison and Greenfield p69)
Aboriginal Knowledge
Involving Aboriginal parents and Elders in
planning and delivering Aboriginal
knowledge provides them with power and
control over the knowledge and how it is
taught. (Harrison and Greenfield p 70)
This places emphasis on authenticity, for
both Aboriginal and non Aboriginal students.
Aboriginal Knowledge
“….Aboriginal cultural knowledge and identities
must be valued by teachers if
schools are to be taken seriously by the
Aboriginal community”.
(Harrison and Greenfield p. 73)
Aboriginal Knowledge
There is an argument that only Aboriginal
teachers should teach about Aboriginal
knowledge, customs and identity
(Noel Pearson 2009 in Harrison and Greenfield
p 66 and Nakata 2007 also p 66)
Aboriginal Knowledge
By using local Aboriginal people to deliver local
knowledge and be involved in our teaching we
are part way to “ break through many of the
facile representations of Aboriginal people to
produce quality teaching and learning in
Aboriginal education.”
(Harrison and Greenfield p 66)
Aboriginal Knowledge
Who can help me find the right people in the
community to provide and deliver local
Aboriginal knowledge?
Aboriginal Knowledge
Your local AECG
Community organisations
Your new teachers’ mentor at your school
Aboriginal teachers and workers in your
Harrison, N and Greenfield M(2011)
Relationship to place: positioning Aboriginal
knowledge and perspectives in classroom
pedagogies, Critical Studies in
Yunkaporta, T (2009)

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