Teaching the teachers for Australian Curriculum August 29, 2012 Research from Murdoch University’s School of Education suggests educators can learn from America as mandatory teaching of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures rolls out under the Australian Curriculum. Dr Nado Aveling said her research in Montana – which introduced the mandatory Indian Education for All Act in 1999 – showed the need for targeted teacher preparation. “While I was in Montana, I saw a great deal of enthusiasm and hard work on the part of educators, and a great many resources that one could only dream about, but I also saw teacher education students who just didn’t get it,” Dr Aveling said. “Aboriginal studies can be mightily unsettling to White sensibilities because it holds up a mirror to the darker side of our past. Unless teachers are properly prepared, they are not likely to have the necessary skills to discuss racism in anything other than a perfunctory way.” While unsettling, Dr Aveling said a truthful reading of Australia’s colonial past was vital for the nation to truly move forward, and that in the long-term, learning about Aboriginal culture would benefit all students. “Aboriginal culture hasn’t died out. Through the new Curriculum, White Australians can discover its richness as well as open their eyes to history from a new perspective. To heal, you need to understand and empathise,” Dr Aveling said. “It will also allow Aboriginal students to see their lives reflected in the world of schools for the first time. Government thinking has long been grounded in deficit thinking – the belief we need to ‘fix’ Aboriginal students and their communities – but if you want to engage students, they need to see their cultures reflected in what is being taught. “The inclusion of Aboriginal studies in the Australian Curriculum is satisfying after 37 years of fighting for it, but we need to proceed ahead in the right way, which means providing teachers with the right training.” Dr Aveling added that since 2006 Murdoch University’s School of Education has mandated all initial education teacher students do a unit called Education for Social Justice, making it a ‘quiet leader’ in this area. Print This Post Media contact: Rob Payne Tel: (08) 9360-2491 | Mobile: | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Categories: General, Teaching and Learning, Future Students, International students, Research, Schools, School of Education, School of Education Research Tags: School of Education, aboriginal and torres straits islanders education, colonialism, montana, nado aveling, racism Comments (One response) sam October 15, 2012 dont tell John Howard, he thinks its a bad idea along with teaching about capitalism and globalisation, why do that when our (so called) leaders can omit teaching our children politics and history, they wont be able to tell us what to think anymore, they may have to start working for the people and not big corporations Leave a comment Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published. Thanks for commenting!