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Rimah Ahmad 17831853

Important Note: The term Aboriginal used in this essay refers to both Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people/ student.

Aboriginal and Culturally Responsive Pedagogies–Assignment One

Option 1
The attempts to rectify the disproportionately high prevalence low educational
outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students has been increasing
identified as a national educational priority. The policy enactment educators are
required to establish cultural competence and education pedagogy that quip the
cultural responsiveness of Aboriginal students to foster genuine engagement (Moodie
et al.,2018). The insight on this issue has been articulated by Dr chris Sarra – in the
Closing Gap Report of 2017 stating that “There is no place in any education jurisdiction
for educators with stifled perceptions of who Indigenous students are, or what they
can achieve.” (Australian Government, p. 35). Reflecting on Dr Chis Sarra’s statement
and with reference to the key policies, standards and literature review my essay will
discuss the critical issues associated with Aboriginal students learning engagement
and the interrelationship links between the New South Wales (NSW) Aboriginal
Education Policy (2008), Closing the Gap- Prime Minister’s Report 2017 , the
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APTS), the Quality Teaching
Framework and Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).
Finally, the essay will evaluate the teacher role through the use of Stronger Smarter
Institute (SSI) model and further discuss the essential strategies I need to apply as a
future teacher in my Key Learning Area of Science.

In Australia, Aboriginal students continuously experience educational disadvantage

despite the ongoing intention to develop solid policies and standards aimed to advance
their literacy and numeracy level parallel with non-Indigenous peers and eliminate the
“gap” that has led the Aboriginal students into a significant poor education involvement
and future life outcomes. Arguably, this gap has been a complex matter, in no small
measure. The Aboriginal people since the colonisation history have been the victim of
countless horrific acts such as racial dispossessed of land, loss of their cultural identity
and Stolen Generation (Lewthwaite et al.,2015). By 1960s when the Aboriginal
students first allowed in state education, an alarming educational concern arouses
Rimah Ahmad 17831853
Important Note: The term Aboriginal used in this essay refers to both Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people/ student.

driving the focus of government to develop several policies and education standards
to conclude six main standard domains (Belgarde, Mitchell & Arquero.,2002).

Recently, these domains have been identified to have the greatest impact in shifting
the education achievement; however, according to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott,
Closing the Gap, the “Australian government is failing to completely close the “gap”
(Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2014, p. 1). Indeed, many ethnocentric
theories explain this failure has been contributed due to policy discourse and negative
assumptions toward Aboriginal communities. Bodkin-Andrews & Carlson (2016),
explains that the assumption of the policy maker which state that the poor school
attendance and behaviour performance resulted from Aboriginal students, their
families and surrounding community’s implications which is according to the author is
a vital matter to be “fixed”. Furthermore, there are a few or no research papers
establishes a link between Aboriginal students’ attendance, engagement, educational
performance and their community without major accountability toward the
responsibilities of policy maker, stakeholder both internal and external, resource and
most importantly the educators defined as the main precursor to sustain life and
education successes (Bodkin-Andrews & Carlson., 2016)

In addressing educators’ duties, Dr Sarra shows extensive role a teacher plays in

building a positive perception of their students. According to Dr Sarra the use of
reflection strategies in their teaching practices, “The teacher signals a high expectation
relationship when they reflect on their own classroom practice and learning
environment to consider what they might need to adjust”. When a teacher resource
incorporates Aboriginal knowledge into the learning resources, a great intention can
contribute Aboriginal student’s engagement and ultimately allowing them to achieve a
valid place in the society (Auhl, Gainsford, Hill, & Zundans-Fraser., 2018). Moreover,
the SSI module established based on Dr Sarra view of educational issues and the
need for unique cultural standpoint, the module presents the current and future needs
of Aboriginal students via its five meta- strategies to consider and implement in the
education stakeholder and schools. These include, “positive student identity: centring
the student and family voice, high expectations: highlighting the importance of building
high expectation toward students, Indigenous leadership: emphasising the
Rimah Ahmad 17831853
Important Note: The term Aboriginal used in this essay refers to both Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people/ student.

requirement to actively involve Aboriginal leaderships in the education and research

process, and finally innovative staff and school module: the integration of Aboriginal
strategy within education content (Sarra, 2015).

While the cap of Aboriginal student’s school attends remains below those of non-
aboriginal students, implementation of SSI module is more necessary than ever. This
is since the SSI module emphases the importance and the value of not Aboriginal
culture and perceptiveness both also the need for the teacher to be critical about their
own cultural standpoint and teacher should show a gratitude of culture dynamic
overlap in their teaching strategies. In addition, engaging Aboriginal students through
teacher reflecting their own culture receptive and use Aboriginal way of learning
/knowledge to connect to culture standpoint of students they teach regardless what
culture background students hold (Auhl et al., 20018). In relation to Aboriginal
students, Rehyner, 1992 (as cited in Belgarde, Mitchell & Arquero, 2016), there is
significant positive influence when having a teacher who considers the power of
culture overlap and bring new knowledge to Aboriginal students by connecting
student’s life experience outside the school to the learning content. By doing so, the
teacher infuses the curriculum with a link to student’s linguist background which in turn
enables them to foster their sense of identity and belonging.

Likewise, using such a practice will help teachers to enhance their own understanding
of various cultural backgrounds, dialects. Indeed, developing such cultural
competence pedagogy and teacher practices effectively will reduce the educational
gap and bring the education of all students at pa (Belgrade, Mitchell & Arquero, 2002).
Likewise, higher education institutions hold a similar position in validating students’
cultural identity Peralta, O’Connor, Cotton & Bennie (2016), states that in order for the
teacher to recognise the need for cultural responsiveness and to be able to effectively
implement it, the teaching degree teacher achieves by the higher education institution
should contain some context related to human cultural aspect and aspects (Peralta et
al.,2016). Examine these strategies demonstrate a clear correlation in which it aligns
with the AITSL standard, the quality teaching framework and the Closing the cap
reports and in combined such strategies they can successfully eliminate a vast
implication in regard to Aboriginal students poor outcome and replaces the low
Rimah Ahmad 17831853
Important Note: The term Aboriginal used in this essay refers to both Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people/ student.

expectation that caused the Aboriginal student to disengage with learning which in turn
it will direct them for better future accomplishment (Auhl et al., 20018).

Accordingly, Hobart Declaration of national goals of schooling (1989) highlighted the

short-changed of Aboriginal student’s low literacy and numeracy levels. The
declaration identified the need to include Aboriginal culture and history across state
curriculum and with an action proposal to involve students in public schooling rather
than systematically marginalise in the rural areas. Although, this action may support
in engaging Aboriginal student in learning content and elevate their school attendance,
however, Hogan, Anthony, Young and Michelle (2015), argue that the focus of moving
national curriculum potentially generates bigger gap and it is far behind engaging
Aboriginal students in public schools. This is due to these modifications of curriculum
and culture awareness is establish measured by people who are far beyond the rural
and Aboriginal communities (Hogan et al.,2015). Moreover, implementing such
curriculum, the teacher need to eliminate their western assumption toward culture and
hold “pre-conceived understanding of Aboriginal student’s social fabricates and
identity (Ferfolja, Díaz & Ullman, 2015). Hence, the SSI third meta-strategy of high
expectation carries the need for the educators to positively create profession student/
teacher relationship which in turn flourish positive connection within Aboriginal
communities and educational system. Blair (2015), explains this relation between high
expectation and positive outcome using Asian families parenting model. In view of,
this students from Asian background are generally outperforming in school comparing
to non-Asian students this occurs because they have high expectations placed on
them by their parent, schools and even their community (Blair, 2015).

As discussed, the vision of SSI is a step for the educators and policy discussion makes
to move in the right direction to eliminate the obstacle preventing the closure of the
education gap Aboriginal students experience to further engage them with learning
and provide high expectation, retention and to increase the completion rate of year 12
Aboriginal students (Eldridge, 2001), yet a huge amount of research is still required
to address the rapid change in the classroom environment and context occurred over
the last 55 years . In today’s classroom, the teacher may have up to six different
learning levels and therefore consistent adjustment of classroom pedagogy and
practice is essential to meet the needs of all students at all time (Peralta et al.,2016).
Rimah Ahmad 17831853
Important Note: The term Aboriginal used in this essay refers to both Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people/ student.

The Federal Government recently developed several polices and standards to target
education and life outcomes of Aboriginal people through closing the cap and
addressing education achievement, health and economic status. In 2008 the Council
of Australian Government (COAG) targeted several issues to be identified based on
the outcomes obtained from the council’s five-year strategy plan applied to see a
change toward uniforming process between Aboriginal people and other country
citizen. The council identified that it will work on reducing the life expectation of
Aboriginal people and halving the death rate for kids under five, providing an early
childhood education so by 2013 every aboriginal child the under age of four can attend
childcare, halve the education cap by 2018 and year 12 completion rate by 2020 and
ultimately bridge the employment opportunity for Aboriginal people. Following on this,
AITSL introduced the implementation of professional standards and quality teaching
framework whereby the graduate teacher will progress through four stages of
developmental process. In each stage the teacher progresses and demonstrates
certain criterion of profession starting from stage of developing graduate teacher and
progressing through to finally becoming highly accomplished teacher. Furthermore,
the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers provide a framework in which the
“knowledge, practice and professional engagement” are compulsory requirement
across teacher; careers (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership
[AITSL], 2011, p.2).

The priority to minimise the education cap for Aboriginal students’ education
outcomes, multiple standards is recognised in the AITSL to ensure that the teacher
and learning content provides the Aboriginal students learning content that appreciate
their culture and heritage. Standards 1.4 and 2.4 of the formwork are directly linked to
the importance of teacher knowledge toward Aboriginal culture and identity and
teaching strategies that integrates this culture in education context they students can
relate and engage with (AITSL, 2011). As a future teacher working in such sensitive
position within the society I believe it is my duty to identify and esteem different culture
component in a positive learning environment where Aboriginal students and those
from different cultural background experience strong sense identity and of belonging.
Furthermore, in achieving AITSL standards alongside with an SSI module in my
teaching area of science I will utilise learning via concentrating on several goals and
principles. This includes, equity and it is the educator’s responsibility to ensure that all
Rimah Ahmad 17831853
Important Note: The term Aboriginal used in this essay refers to both Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people/ student.

students are provided with appropriate learning resource. As argued by Hemphill &
Hargreaves (2009) due to education inequity implied toward Aboriginal students and
those from disadvantaged backgrounds by the schools and teacher many Aboriginal
student tent to disengage from learning and school attends. Moreover, Aboriginal
students are more likely to involve in behaviour problem and school suspended due
to teacher attitude and teacher negative perception toward them (p.54).

Achieving potential, to assess Aboriginal students learning needs it is necessary

emphasise the importance of recognising Aboriginal education and heritage in the
whole education system and government agencies. Besides, the educator to provide
high expectation and to hold belief on what students can actually achieve and support
during the process. For example, if some student shows difficulties to complete, the
teacher should seek a solution in which students can progress and complete their task.
Positive relationship, communication and interpersonal relation play one of the main
factor contribute to student’s success. Martin & Dowson( 2009), States promoting
positive feelings such as self-worth” and self-esteem is one of the main factors leading
students to motivate and engage with learning. Additionally, engaging students with
learning requires for the teacher foster students self- esteem as Thompson (as cited
in Martin and Dowson, 2009), “this is important because self-worth and self-esteem
are both related to sustained achievement motivation”. Lastly, making learning
relevant, although teacher is limited when it comes to making change in education
policy and stands however, in the science subject, the integrating Aboriginal way of
known, doing and valuing in the class activities such as using stories to connect
scientific ideas or using Non-verbal learning (8 Ways pedagogical) whereby students
obtain or present their knowledge via hand on activities.

In conclusion, the ongoing implication of Aboriginal student’s education achievement

signals the urgent need to identified effective action and plans. According, to contribute
Aboriginal student’s engagement and successful outcomes, it is the role of the teacher
to establish culture competence in which the students through learning can express
their cultural identity. The SSI model presents a positive step toward addressing
importing issues related to exiting gap of Aboriginal students’ education outcome.
Finally, although in the process of producing this essay I have viewed some of
factors/outcomes led Aboriginal students to experience ; however, it is important to
Rimah Ahmad 17831853
Important Note: The term Aboriginal used in this essay refers to both Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people/ student.

acknowledge that due to the complexity involved (policy and education discourse, the
continuous ignorant of Aboriginal elder and community, post education life difficulties
and such as language barrier) I shall declare that there are more than a few limitations
in the essay to provide a complete overview the subject.


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Competent Teacher Education Programs. In Promising Practices in Indigenous Teacher

Education (pp. 41-56). Springer, Singapore. Retrieved from

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responsive programs? : The challenge of transforming American Indian teacher education.
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Blair, N. (2015). Aboriginal education: More than adding perspectives in learning to teach in the
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Eldridge, D. (2001). Footprints to the future: report from the Prime Minister's Youth Action Taskforce.
Canberra: Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs.
Rimah Ahmad 17831853
Important Note: The term Aboriginal used in this essay refers to both Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people/ student.
Ferfolja, Tania, (author.) & Ferfolja, Tania, (editor.) & Jones-Diaz, Criss, (editor.) & Ullman, Jacqueline,
(editor.) (2015). Understanding sociological theory for educational practices. Port Melbourne,
VIC Cambridge University Press

Hemphill, S., & Hargreaves, J. (2009). Suspension: quick fix or lasting harm?. Teacher. no.27, 52-55.
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Queensland say about teaching and their learning. Australian Journal of Teacher Education
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Martin, A.J., & Dowson, M. (2009). Interpersonal relationships, motivation, engagement, and
achievement: yields for theory, current issues, and education practice. Review of Educational
Research, 79(1), 327-365. doi:

Moodie, N., Ewen, S., Mcleod, J., & Platania-Phung, C. (2018). Indigenous graduate research
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Peralta, L. R., O’Connor, D., Cotton, W. G., & Bennie, A. (2016). Pre-service physical education
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intervention. Teaching Education, 27(3), 248-266.

Sarra, C. 2015 "Time for a High-Expectations relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
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