Aboriginal history - Coursework Example

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This paper is my reflective response to the book ‘Telling the Truth about Aboriginal History’ by Bain Attwood, which contains a heart-wrenching account of the Aborigines. Reading the book made me realize the pain that the Aborigines went through. They not only lost their…
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Part Aboriginal History This paper is my reflective response to the book ‘Telling the Truth about Aboriginal History’ by Bain Attwood, which contains a heart-wrenching account of the Aborigines. Reading the book made me realize the pain that the Aborigines went through. They not only lost their culture, lives and land, but also had to live with the pain of knowing that somewhere out there their loved ones were alive, except they did not know where1. There are many significant key points that I would consider as crucial because this will have a positive result on the students.
A survey was conducted that revealed that 38% of children were taken away from their families. Many families are still in search of their members, and many of them never had a chance to see each other again; this has caused the natives an immense emotional stress. This practice has led to the erosion of the nation’s culture and values; this is termed as the ‘Stolen Generation’ by the historians2.
Keeping in mind the history of Australia, it is essential to have a vast knowledge of the aboriginal history for a teacher to hand down the facts of the existence of the land where people dwell and to reclaim the culture that was lost to the bills and acts passed by the European invaders3.
Teaching the history of Aborigines will make the students familiar with the legacy, culture and norms of their country and the ongoing impact of colonialism on the society that they have become today. It will contribute to their knowledge that their identity dates back to 40,000 years ago; they will know that they belong to one of the oldest cultures in the world. Moreover, students have to face linguistic barriers which contribute to the trends of attendance; however, evidence suggests that the use of their native language influences the numeric figures greatly. Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) released a report which suggested that learning Torres Strait Islander, or Aboriginal, language could contribute to the academic results for all the students. Therefore, non-indigenous students will develop a significant knowledge of the cultural dissimilarities and mutual respect along with gaining insight into the history of the land where they live4.
The historic accounts will also help the teachers to know the trick to teach Aboriginal students. Many schools in Australia have white teachers who do not know the history of Aborigines. Therefore, they misinterpret the behavior of the Aboriginal children; for example, it is against ethics to have an eye contact with an elder in Aboriginal cultural value system; thus, those students who avoid eye contact may be misdiagnosed and misinterpreted for following their values taught at home. To avoid misperceptions about the students in the class and to be able to teach properly knowing the history of Aborigines is important for the teachers. One more claim could be that English is a second language, and, therefore, the students may at times fail to understand and follow the instructions given by the teacher. Therefore, it will help teachers to avoid marginalizing the students as weak students who fail to understand the tasks in class due to their incompetent behavior. I would use the following techniques to teach the students about the history:
I would show them documentaries in their language and ask them to write what their personal views would have been if they had been alive in the times of the invasion of Aborigines.
I would create handouts that would have a time line of bills and acts passed at that time and ask them to review them critically.
I would compile a book with the help of different articles and excerpts taken from different sources for the students to read.
They critically have to give a review on the book compiled by me at the end of the term that would also include their views on improving the teaching resources and their views on the history of Aborigines.
I would give them a week’s time to research on the topics generated from the history and hold discussions in class.
I would make groups in the class that will comprise of indigenous and non-indigenous students. This group would have to form a debate and compete with the other groups in the class.
I would ask them to find information about the cases of colonialism in other countries, to provide their benefits and limitations, and to compare these cases with the Aboriginal colonialism.
Part 2:
1) It would help teachers to deliver lectures properly and pay attention to the students without marginalizing the students as being weak in studies.
2) I would teach my class to know the history and not to base confrontations on the historic backgrounds. The key learning would be about the true essence of the ancestors that possessed the bravery, patriotism, and determination.
3) The source will be used as a reading material to develop concepts and later discuss them in the class.
4) The decisions were taken correctly, because previously the people in that particular locality were dependent on the substantive economy that did not ensure the high quality of living; instead, it negatively affected the growth of the economy.
Attwood, Bain. Telling the Truth about Aboriginal History. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2006.
Horton, David. The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia. Canberra: Academic Aboriginal Studies Press, 1996.
McKenna, Mark. Looking for Blackfellas Point: An Australian History of Place. Sydney: UNSW Press, 2002.
“Indigenous Perspectives in Australian Schools”. Reconciliation Australia. 20 January 2010. Read More
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