Department of Education

Aboriginal Education

Aboriginal Education

Aboriginal EducationAPACImplementing APAC ‹ Teaching Aboriginal students

Teaching Aboriginal students — points from APAC South Australia


Whether it is out of ignorance or family attitudes, you may encounter some students who hold a narrow or stereotypical view of Aboriginal people. Of the teachers who encountered this as they taught their units, most were able to report a greatly improved attitude at the end of the course.

Aboriginal voices

The voice of Aboriginal people has, up until recently, been largely unheard by most non-Aboriginal people in Australia. Aboriginal people's version of history, their contemporary issues, their stories about losing children and land are beginning to be listened to as the non-Aboriginal population of Australia comes to terms with the past and the present.

The power of story

Listening to Dreaming stories, hearing real-life stories, learning new names for familiar objects, tasting and feeling new experiences — these have all been powerful and effective ways students have learnt Aboriginal perspectives throughout the units. Their responses tie in with a long-term recognition about the role of narrative in human learning-that 'story' appears to be a profound and universal means of both carrying and constructing meaning for human beings.

Life stories can also be a powerful way of informing the students about Aboriginality. In some instances students were visited by Aboriginal people who told of their life. One particular group was visited by an Aboriginal woman who told of being taken from her family as a child. It was a story the students would not forget.

Aboriginal Perspectives Across the Curriculum, South Australian Department for Education ©apacsa

Teaching Aboriginal students

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