Question. How do we enhance success in Indigenous Australian student’s?
1. Select a topic you are interested in researching that explores the purpose of school and the role of social inclusion and inequity in schooling (this may include for example Indigenous education, schooling and social class or ethnicity and school)
Indigenous Australian Education.
2. Write a research question you would like to investigate about your chosen topic.
How do we enhance success in Indigenous Australian student’s?
Lecture Wrote back:
“Good topic and you should tie it back to the historical issue of disadvantage of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders. A key aspect will be how can we support the students education and maintain their cultural identity.”
3. List at least three sub questions that will assist you in investigating your main question written above.
How do we improve attendance and participation?
What developing skills are required to succeed?
How do we bridge the cultural divide?
This is submitted as a draft then gets marked and then asked to be revised/ amended and resubmitted as final submission 2 weeks later. Lecturer may accept draft as final submission if he likes it and thinks it doesn’t require alteration.
I have included wording directly from a book we have to use Educational Psychology.plus we can use our own references etc. Journals etc. about 7-10 references.
Your Bibliography: Duchesne, Susan. Educational Psychology. South Melbourne, Vic.: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
• The majority of Aboriginal students come to school speaking a language other than standard Australian English (SAE). Aboriginal English is a separate dialect, different in every aspect from SAE. Many aboriginal students competent in several languages and can switch between these when talking in different contexts.
• Accept aboriginal English at school, recognising, valuing and encouraging its use when appropriate. Bridge what they know and what they don’t know and need to master Standard Australian English. Tap into the strengths of aboriginal learning preferences and culture.
• Recognising their rich cultural heritage. Students living in traditional communities might have considerable knowledge of the land, of the Dreaming, and of the traditional dance, music and painting particular to their community. Urban communities might have a different cultural heritage. Students cultural heritage also influences how they view learning, teachers and fellow students.
• Involving the community in the school, and the school into the community. In Practice, Australia has few fully trained Indigenous teachers relative to the size of the indigenous school population. This gap has been bridged by employing Aboriginal and Islander Education Workers (AIEWs), who work alongside non-indigenous teachers in the classroom. This helps non-indigenous teachers gain understanding and insight into issues relevant to their Aboriginal students. AIEWs liaise between the school and community to make school a welcoming place for indigenous families. Other roles for AIEWs include assisting teachers and students, monitoring student’s attendance and behaviour, counselling, and helping new teachers.
• Bridging the cultural divide. Aboriginals learn in groups (home way). Some aboriginal students have an observational model of learning at home in which they watch a task being performed, and avoid shame by waiting until they are confident of success before attempting it themselves. Observational learning might be of considerable benefit and can be used in the classroom. Not calling on individual students and allowing them to work in small groups can minimise the risk of students feeling shame. Students can be supported to learn in new ways.
• In Western cultures, language is used for learning and teaching as well as social purposes, but in some Aboriginal groups, learning and teaching do not happen through language but through observation and participation. Teachers should get to know the learning approaches of the individual children in their classes and communities where they teach.
• Health and Poverty issues. Because parents cannot afford health services, students have poorer health than their peers. One health problem that affects the learning of a great number of aboriginal Australian students is associated with hearing. Otitis media is a disease involving inflammation of the middle ear, and commonly afflicts infants and young children. Affects speech and language development, with up to two years’ delay in development of reading and communication skills. Balance, coordination and motor skill development. When basic skills such as learning to read are affected, further learning in later years is also disrupted. Some strategies to overcome this problem is to use simple language and repeat information often. Place more importance on non-verbal communication using gestures, facial expression and sign language to communicate with hearing impaired students. Use a buddy system to provide support from peers.
• Overcrowded houses where students cannot learn or do homework. Some households may have 2-3 families living in the one house.
• Lack of infrastructure. If all children of that community were to attend school, then there’s not enough teachers and classrooms to accommodate them all.
• Uneducated parents and dysfunctional families. Many aboriginal students come from dysfunctional families where they need to dodge domestic violence and alcohol and substance abuse. In remote communities some young aboriginals are not taught values at home. A lack of role models, especially for boys with no father figure due to death or separation may contribute to this.
• Attendance and participation. Child rearing style of many Australian Aboriginal communities gives children greater independence and responsibility in contrast to western child rearing practices. They may respond better to adult education models than to the usual model used in school. This independence may also mean that parents take a different role and approach in terms of encouraging children to attend school. They may be reluctant to pressure children to attend. Skipping school directly affects grades and one has to be creative to entice students to go to school. One community in Arnhem land has introduced a range of methods to increase attendance. The community uses a school bus to travel around the small community, ringing a bell and picking up students. They also use a reward system that if a student attends 5 from 5 days they can win shop vouchers and if they attend every day for 5 weeks they receive a sports bag. Some communities set up a No School No Pool policy where children are only allowed to enjoy the pool is they attend school.
• Disengaged teachers. A good teacher is one who relates to the community and stay long enough to build up a rapport and trust to encourage students to stay at school.
• Lack of fulltime teachers. Students are keen and eager to learn, but cannot progress because there’s no fulltime teachers to teach literacy and basic mathematics. Some remote regions of Australia suffer from massive teacher shortages which are expected to worsen as older teachers retire.
• Cultural difference and misunderstanding. Problems may arise when the beliefs of home and school differ. When an individual’s behaviour is interpreted from a cultural perspective that is different from that of the individual in question, misunderstandings and conflict can result. An example of this is looking people in the eye when you speak. In Western Anglo culture, looking people in the eye when you speak to them is a mark of respect, and shows you are attending to them. However, in many other cultures, including some aboriginal groups, this would be a mark of disrespect – particularly if shown by a younger person to someone in a position of authority. Without this understanding, teachers might assume that students from cultures that do not use eye contact are not listening or uninterested. Similarly, teachers who insist on eye contact without explaining that may lose respect from students and parents. Another example is students asking questions. In Anglo western groups asking questions is an important learning strategy and interpreted by teachers as active engagement and curiosity. For other cultures its classed as rude to ask a question, implying doubt about the teacher’s willingness to share information. Silence is also an important feature of Australian indigenous interaction. In some Aboriginal groups receivers of questions are not obligated to respond, a choice that can be misinterpreted by teachers as defiance or lack of intelligence. When teachers insist on asking questions and wanting answers, students may feel threatened or embarrassed.
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