The local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is the key to knowing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students within the school.
Knowing and understanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ individual backgrounds and attitudes to school are important to enable sensitivity and respect to be maintained through the curriculum.
Ask students and community members what they want to see in the curriculum, share the intended curriculum and work together to come to a good approach that will benefit the school and community and the systemic requirements. By doing this you will be including the important local knowledge with which students and community identify.
It is also important to understand the non-Indigenous students within the school and the historical relationships these students and their families have had with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the local area.
Some issues may need to be addressed with care and sensitivity.
- Dialogue/yarning circles—the use of dialogue circles is an important process within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. This process has been used by Indigenous people from around the world for centuries to build respectful relationships, learn from a collective group, and to preserve and pass on cultural knowledge. By using dialogue/yarning circles as a teaching and learning strategy, student understandings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and ways of working with this knowledge are enhanced.
The '8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning' is a pedagogical framework that engages students in Aboriginal perspectives by using Aboriginal learning techniques. Learning through Aboriginal processes and protocols, not just Aboriginal content validates and teaches Aboriginal culture and will enhance student learning.