Aboriginal pupils in sharp focus in education plan
Anna Patty & Dn Harrison; 12/5/10; (2 Items)
Teachers will need to learn how to teach Aboriginal children as part of their training before they can register to work in public and private schools under national plans to lift the standard of indigenous education. Education ministers have agreed to a revised blueprint on how they will tackle disadvantage in schooling. They aim to halve the gap in the literacy and numeracy performance of indigenous and mainstream students by 2018. It is expected that a formal announcement will be made at the next Council of Australian Governments meeting, which is expected to be scheduled in the next two months. But leading indigenous educators have criticised the draft Indigenous Education Action Plan, saying it fails to recognise the crucial importance of cultural pride to success at school.
Where native culture holds sway
Emma Lowrie, a Wiradjuri woman and teacher at Royal Far West School in Manly, says she has gained greater knowledge of other indigenous cultures and different learning styles after using the SWAY program for two years. “I used to be a teacher that just stood up the front and never got to know the children and their stories,” she says. ”I was guilty of having worksheets most of the time and having a really boring classroom. ”I’ve had to evaluate my own style of teaching and that has been about getting rid of photocopies and making the classroom more interactive and engaging [and] having images up and sitting around in a circle [rather than in rows].
See: http://www.smh.com.au/national/where-native-culture-holds-sway-20100511-uuv0.html; http://www.smh.com.au/national/radical-program-to-close-literacy-gap-20100511-uuuy.html; http://www.smh.com.au/national/creative-approach-for-challenges-20100511-uuux.html;