Traversing the Chasm-Cultural and generational confluence in teaching science

Oldfield, Janine (2011) Traversing the Chasm-Cultural and generational confluence in teaching science. In: AIATSIS National Indigneous Studies Conference, September 19-22, 2011, Canberra, ACT.

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How do we support and include entry of young and older Indigenous students into the sciences? This perennial issue for educational institutions across Australia has been met with lamentations in regards to the apparent failure of our Indigenous students to engage successfully with the quintessential elements of Western thought. However, a number of Northern Territory tertiary educators at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education have adopted a significantly different approach in teacher education with considerable success. The approach usurps the traditional positioning of Indigenous students as the ‘other’ in reference to an anglo ‘norm’ and places Indigenous knowledge and pedagogies at the centre of science studies. It uses narrative (important in external representation; organizational principle and cognitive processes), explicit instruction, collaborative and inquiry learning (from the Academy of Sciences Primary Connections), Indigenous cultural and linguistic knowledge to link elders with youth and allow the transmission of both traditional Indigenous knowledge and the construction of western scientific conceptual understandings and so insure the cultural safety, the maintenance of a strong Indigenous identity and western scientific understandings for current and subsequent generations. In addition, it allows for a confluence of diverse cognitive understandings which both enriches Australia’s intellectual milieu and conforms to Batchelor Institute’s philosophy of both-ways education.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: education, science teaching
Field of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Research Collaboration Area: Education
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2016 00:22
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2016 00:22

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