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Challenges Faced by Indigenous Students in Australian Schools

The schools in Australia are basically considered the sites of harm for the aboriginal people, where they get harms in both the means, historically and currently. Although the conceptualized sovereignty of the country is enacted by the Torres Strait Islander people, they need to get the foundations to better understand the concept of education in the system. Numerous examples of the Indigenous education sovereignty can be exercised in many countries, which aim to focus on the Indigenous languages, histories, beliefs and culture in schools and institutions. Analysis of historical and current outcomes of Indigenous students evidences the investigation that the people of the indigenous community tend to resist their freedom and remain within the locked-down borders. For example, when it comes to considering the views on the pandemic, the anxiety and fear spread very fast among the people of the indigenous community/. The schools were being opened forcefully in substantial ways to continue the learning and teaching patterns but in different ways. The purpose of the school learning was to advocate the learning of the students. Moreover, the teachers and educators tend to adapt and transform themselves in innovative ways to provide substantial education to the students (Lowe, 2017).

The model of sovereignty, defined as the resource of social and political freedom that make decisions for socio-political change to focus upon student-centred learning within the context of cultural survival and celebration. Moreover, Indigenous centred culturally responsive teaching can provide a fully adequate basis for success in Aboriginal education (Franco, 2021). Schools are provided with the mandated curriculum to provide education to the students. The necessity of the curriculum is being approved by the state and the federal government of the country so that all the people can get the qualification that they deem (Bishop, 2022). Although schools and institutions are being mandated with various sovereignty-based curriculum activities, many of the Indigenous people are afraid of sending their children away from their homes to the institutions. Their living, thriving, surviving and nurturing have not much changed to date, and they tend to look the things in old ways. Hence, this is a question of excitement that how education sovereignty should be incorporated into the educational system so that indigenous people do not feel afraid of the educational system of the country. Many instances have recorded the application of knowledge of Indigenous history and cultures in schools that suggest the attempts of adopting the indigenous contents inside the classes so that people can gain something in meaningful ways. The core component of the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is one among the plethora of mandated policies in Australian schools’ curricula focusing upon Aboriginal community engagement practices. The teachers should also meet the professional requirement to meet their responsibility and have meaningful interaction with the Aboriginal people.

Pedagogical practice is being implemented to better engage Indigenous students through education. Education is the best way to acquire knowledge by several means that furthermore can be exchanged by thousands of generations. Indigenous people tend to determine the purpose and perspective in a vignette of education sovereignty. The vignette emphasizes the enjoyment looks and feels like of indigenous students for the purpose of deep learning and critical thinking. Another way of enjoyment through deep learning is considered as the term ‘doing’ that determines the Indigenous pedagogical practice by incorporating regenerational relationality and knowledge sharing (Burgess et al., 2019). Knowledge sharing among generations can be continued to be processed by the following education. Furthermore, a successful education system has been incorporated into the schools or educational institutions of Australia. Following processes and facilities have been incorporated into the schools as these are provided to eradicate the existence of stillness or failure (Yunkaporta, 2019). Six core components that define the Indigenous education sovereignty are supposed to occur around the people that include Pattern Thinking; Country; Time; Relationality; Intergenerational Reciprocity; and Agency. The elements are interconnected but present in different contexts in terms of importance and knowledge and locality shared by the people.

Importance of Incorporating Indigenous Education Sovereignty

The pattern thinking element is considered as the ability of the people to think critically with the perspective of time and place. The element shows the pattern embracing a holistic picture can change the shape of the past to turn it into the future. Hence, critical thinking can help people to strive for the potential human extinction by enhancing their brain capacity (Yunkaporta, 2019). Country acts as the central aspect of learning. In educational terms, the country is defined by the surrounding where people can get all the required elements to services, such as mother, father and teacher. Hence, in simple words, the country can be defined as a pattern of building genuine relationships among people, being patient and going slowly to gain knowledge, which tends to constitute the part of custodial responsibilities among Indigenous people. Time is a contemporary notion providing the sense and freedom to do something in the material environment. In terms of the Indigenous perspective, time should be a case of gaining knowledge shared with the cultural activities and not existing as a linear form divided into hours, minutes or abstract. Learning this element, as a mandate component of the learning process in the schools, the progression of knowledge, awareness and flexibility can be increased (Bishop et al., 2019). Relationality is considered the strongest relationship-forming element among people and countries. The interconnections of such relationships and knowledge shared among the entities remain stored, making care an outgoing commitment. This form of connection is not based on the commitment to fulfilling people’s relational obligations (Behrendt, 2019). Intergenerational reciprocity tends to enhance intergenerational learning by combining with reciprocity. Through the knowledge and implementation of this element, people tend to acknowledge the learning and knowledge sharing of humans in order to strengthen their relationships. Furthermore, the element can build the teacher-student relationship by ignoring the obligations of extractives (Simpson, 2017). Agency implies the unfolding patterns of education autonomy. The term agency is entirely self-determinative, contextual and responsive that provides the students access to get the necessary information by accounting pre-set of education curriculum and socio-cultural pedagogies to be incorporated into the school curriculum (Country & Burarrwanga, 2016).

All the above-mentioned six elements are necessary to be incorporated into the Indigenous sovereignty Education of Australia to empower/underpin the design of pedagogical systems and structures (Alliance, 2019).

Concluding all the aspects of student-centered learning strategies and policies, I will tend to conclude that effective teacher training is essential for their better incorporation into the education system of the aboriginal people. Commonwealth Native Welfare Conference (1937) is the considerable protocol phenomenon of the indigenous based-education that van help them getting to know about the urban culture, along with the education provision. In my opinion, I suppose that teachers should develop a strong relationship with that the aboriginal students by considering the 8 elements of Indigenous education sovereignty policies. Teachers need to follow the protocols of the schools to learn all the teaching aspects. The protocols provide the knowledge of the history and cultural behaviour of the aboriginal people and their nervous sensitivity. The protocols provide all the aborigin’s knowledge that when and why these students may seek help, why they got nervous in front of urban people and what are their study-based perspectives. Hence, by getting the knowledge about their community and cultures, teachers tend to develop the pedagogical curriculum to know about students’ developing strategies, which can be incorporated into teaching in a meaningful manner. For the sufficient provision of knowledge to the students, teachers also build sensational relationships with that their parents as well as coordinate with the local Aboriginal community (Thorpe et al., 2017). Although, various aboriginal community-based engagement practice protocols are being followed by the teachers to develop a positive relationship of trust with that the students, their parents and the communities to which they belong they should have consider following criteria for the development of better teacher-student relationship. (1) Teachers should not expect from all the students that they will share complete information about their communities’ health, history and issues. The reason is that all the communities have their separate values and beliefs, which they may like to share or not. (2) Teachers should not talk to the students or parents about their issues, as indigenous people find it quite difficult to share. (3) Many times, aboriginal people might be silent because of any reason. Teachers should not consider their silent negative opinion, as they might have sensitive to the particular educational environment (Parbury, 2020).

Pedagogical Practice for Indigenous Students

The history of Aboriginal education since the invasion will remain prevailing, the attitudes of the Australian community since the invasion. According to the effective teaching practice and theoretical considerations education should be provided to the aboriginal students to affect their life chances over years as previously, many of the aboriginal children had not ever gone to the schools. Hence, various plans and programs are being implemented into the education systems to provide better education to the aboriginal people too. A plan of the New South Wales Aborigines Welfare Board was implemented to provide various school education and hostels to the aboriginal people to raise their standards (Parbury, 2020). The mission of providing the school education to the aboriginal people was to establish their own ordinary settlers (Rruki, 2008). The board of the national education also incorporated various educational-related facilities policies to promote their growth. For the educational board establishment, various funds were made under the protection board policy. In order to the conclusion of the habitats and learning behaviours of the aboriginal people towards education and learning, it can be said that aboriginal people might feel shame when talking about their community. Several communities have been identified throughout the aboriginal communities. Hence, teachers must incorporate the necessary protocols before starting the actual education. The reserved schools with untrained teachers tend to affect all the standards of the students. Moreover, such untrained teachers remain biased towards white people. Hence, enough the policies and education are emphasized to the teachers to teach students on an unbiased basis. In order to make the availability of equal education to black and white people, a Commonwealth Native Welfare Conference was also held for the ultimate absorption of educational standards by the students

References

Behrendt, L., (2019). 10| Decolonizing research: Indigenous storywork as methodology. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=d_80EAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA175&dq=Behrendt,+L.+(2019).+Decolonizing+research:+Indigenous+storywork+as+&ots=04h8XUjUEu&sig=Ah1iRMp9n6eaTc66_zaq9I7wH2s

Bishop, M., (2022). Indigenous education sovereignty: another way of ‘doing’education. Critical Studies in Education, 63(1), 131-146. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17508487.2020.1848895

Bishop, M., Vass, G., & Thompson, K., (2019). Decolonising schooling practices through relationality and reciprocity: Embedding local Aboriginal perspectives in the classroom. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681366.2019.1704844

Bishop, M., Vass, G., & Thompson, K., (2021). Decolonising schooling practices through relationality and reciprocity: Embedding local Aboriginal perspectives in the classroom. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 29(2), 193-211. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14681366.2019.1704844

Burgess, C., Tennent, C., Vass, G., Guenther, J., Lowe, K., & Moodie, N., (2019). A systematic review of pedagogies that support, engage and improve the educational outcomes of Aboriginal students. The Australian Educational Researcher, 46(2), 297-318. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13384-019-00315-5

Country, B., & Burarrwanga, I. L., (2016). Co-becoming time/s: Time/s-as-telling-as-time/s. In Methodological challenges in nature-culture and environmental history research (pp. 101-112). Routledge.  https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ICQlDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA81&dq=Country,+B.,+%26+Burarrwanga,+I.+L.+(2016).+Co-becoming+time/s:+Time/s-as-telling-as-time/s.+In+Methodological+challenges+in+nature culture+and+environmental+history+research+(pp.+101-112).+Routledge.&ots=w0e9QT6x_4&sig=bpLIM-X2NiIIuOlODdUFRHeo75M

Alliance F., (2019). Dhungala 2019. https://www.firesticks.org.au/national-indigenous-fire -workshop/dhungala-2019-2/

Franco, D., (2021). Revisiting cultural diversity in social work education through Latino critical race theory testimonio. Social Work Education, 40(4), 522-534. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02615479.2020.1740191

Lowe, K., (2017). Walanbaa warramildanha: The impact of authentic Aboriginal community and school engagement on teachers’ professional knowledge. The Australian Educational Researcher, 44(1), 35-54. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13384-017-0229-8

Parbury, N., (2020). A history of Aboriginal education. In Teaching Aboriginal Studies (pp. 132-152). Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781003117674-7/history-aboriginal-education-nigel-parbury

Rruki G., (2008) Working with Aboriginal  Communities. A Guide  to  Community Consultation  and Protocols.

Simpson, L. B., (2017). As we have always done: Indigenous freedom through radical resistance.  University of Minnesota Press. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19460171.2022.2057344

Thorpe, J., Rutherford, S., & Sandberg, L. A., (2017). Methodological challenges in nature-culture and environmental history research. London, UK: Routledge. https://api.taylorfrancis.com/content/books/mono/download?identifierName=doi&identifierValue=10.4324/9781315665924&type=googlepdf

Yunkaporta, T., (2019). Sand talk: How Indigenous thinking can save the world. The Text Publishing Company. https://tme.journals.libs.uga.edu/jheoe/article/download/2511/2640

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