Exploring our interconnected world
Cool burns: http://www.watarrkafoundation.org.au/blog/a boriginal-fire-management-what-is-coolburning: The practice involves lighting low fires in small areas on foot, with matches or, traditionally, with fire sticks. These fires are closely monitored, ensuring that only the underbrush is burnt. Cool Burns not only clear areas of land, they also ensure that seeds and nutrients in the soil are not baked and destroyed. The site explains that there are many environmental and cultural benefits to using Cool Burns for the management of the land.
Water Wisdom: Fresh water systems are fundamental to Australia’s first people who have nurtured a deep understanding of water. This series shares this knowledge through the voice of Aboriginal communities: See: https://www.abc.net.au/tveducation/program s/water-wisdom/12998608.
Two Very Talented Men: A positive approach to changing perceptions of talented people from the past:
1. Tupia: Tupia was a Pacific Island man who sailed with Captain Cook from Tahiti on the way to the coast of Australia in 1769. Cook , himself a great navigator, had seen his navigational skills and depended on him to navigate the Pacific. The website https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/tupaia/, describes him as: “high priest, artist, diplomat, politician, orator and celestial navigator”. During those months at sea, Tupaia had revealed himself to possess an inquiring mind and experimental inclinations.
2. David Unaipon: According to Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Unaipon, he was an Aboriginal man of the Ngarrindjeri people, a preacher, inventor and author. His contribution to Australian society in the 1920s helped break many stereotypes, and he is featured on the Australian $50 note in commemoration of his work. He was the first Aboriginal author to be published, and after developing 19 inventions he was called the Australian “Leonardo” – a comparison to Leonardo da Vinci.
Lesson Plan – Culture, Race and Ethnicity: Prepared for Harmony Week, this site provides definitions of the terms, and Questions for discussion: https://www.harmony.gov.au/get-involved/schools/lessonplans/lesson-plan-culture-race-ethnicity
9 Tips teachers can use when talking about racism: These are sensible tips and include once again the warning that “Teachers sometimes strive to teach about racism, without considering that it is the lived experience of some of their students”. https://theconversation.com/9-tips-teachers-can-use-when-talkingabout-racism-140837. “It’s important teachers don’t shy away from difficult conversations in the classroom, even if they may feel daunting.” – but we don’t want to re-traumatise anyone, so provide the usual names of groups to contact (e.g. Beyond Blue) From the Australian Human Rights Commission comes a compilation of resources from groups and sites like RacismNoWay and Difference Differently: https://itstopswithme, humanrights.gov.au/education-resources.
Lots of lesson plans and activities for Years 3-10. Uluru Statement from the Heart: https://ulurustatement.org/
A recent Australian movie, High Ground, tells a fictionalised story of a massacre of Aborigines by police in the Northern Territory in the early 1900s, showing the story from both sides. However, according to The Conversation “Massacres at the hands of police and settlers were tragically common through northern Australia. The opening scene, depicting a massacre beside a waterhole in 1919, echoes the 1911 Gan Gan Massacre in which mounted police killed more than 30 Yolngu people in a “punishment expedition”. Find out the background at https://theconversation.com/how-historically-accurate-is-the-film-high-groundthe-violence-it-depicts-is-uncomfortably-close-to-the-truth-154475.
A recent Australian text by historian Mark McKenna, Return to Uluru, also depicts relationships between Aborigines and police. In 1934 a policeman killed an Aboriginal man, apparently in self-defence. However, a family member kept his diaries, which were given to McKenna. They told a different story, which has led to an example of what truth-telling and reconciliation look like in practice. See: https://www.readings.com.au/review/return-to-uluru-by-mark-mckenna#.
Uluru Statement from the Heart: https://ulurustatement.org/
Raise your Voice: https://www.foundationsfortomorrow.org/. “Foundations for Tomorrow, an initiative of the Global Shapers Community, is a community of tenacious Australian youth who are driven to create impactful dialogue. We aim to create a space where our voices can be truly heard at all levels of government and industry. We believe, by bringing our voice to these key individuals and organisations, we can influence meaningful outcomes. Their survey is open until April 23rd - which is a national consultation of youth in the form of a survey with the objective to gather insights on the priorities, perspectives, and questions of youth on the topics of climate change and community inclusion to then directly engage prominent Australian leaders and create an action-orientated report with the recommendations to be actioned by August 2021. Teachers may like to introduce your older students to this.
https://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/curriculum-review. If your school wants to comment, these are the timelines. The aim of the Review has been that it needs refining, updating and ‘decluttering’ to better support teachers.
From end January to beginning of April 2021: Review and revision process continuing across all learning areas in consultation with reference groups;
End of April to July 2021: 10-week public comment window Feedback sought on proposed content changes to F–10 Australian Curriculum in all eight learning areas.
By August: Refresh existing work samples and other resources to align with revised curriculum. Prepare teacher and parent communication materials. Feedback considered and final content changes complete.
Reconciliation initiatives: Narragunnawali Awards:
Held biennially since 2017, the Narragunnawali Awards are the only national awards program that recognises and celebrates Australian schools and early learning services that are implementing outstanding reconciliation initiatives. Finalists are acknowledged for strengthening relationships, building respect, and providing meaningful opportunities in the classroom, around the school or service, and with the community. Applications close Friday April 30th . There are two categories: Schools and Early Learning: See (https://www.narragunnawali.org.au/awards?fbclid=IwAR3EUDhCfsrl6y63hLMPXwZny_eBPZdiIUeUZYG-mYOADt_17gt6FzMzdtc)
The Australian Curriculum places emphasis on Sustainability as a priority for study that connects and relates relevant aspects of content across learning areas and subjects.
Cross-curriculum learning is fundamental to:
understanding the ways social, economic and environmental systems interact to support and maintain human life
appreciating and respecting the diversity of views and values that influence sustainable development
participating critically and acting creatively in determining more sustainable ways of living.
Through the priority of Sustainability, students develop the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary to contribute to more sustainable patterns of living.
Organising Ideas include: Systems, World Views and Futures.
THE SUSTAINABILITY CROSS-CURRICULUM PRIORITY
The video below illustrates the importance of biodiversity and how human activity impacts on biodiversity and sustainability. It touches upon the link between imbalance of biodiversity and pandemics,
Climate Clever App for Schools: The App-based program enables schools, homes and soon businesses to measure, compare and reduce their consumption, costs and carbon footprint from energy, water and waste. There are teaching resources for various learning areas, and a yearly progress report that tracks your school’s progress. See https://www.climateclever.org/schools. (There is a cost involved, but it depends on the size of your school – but it should save the school money in the long run!).
From fires, flood, drought or storms, does your school have an initiative that could be recommended for an award? The Resilient Australia Awards celebrate initiatives that build community resilience to disasters and emergencies. The awards provide an opportunity to highlight the hard work of individuals, organizations, councils and schools in our communities who show initiative in helping to create a more resilient Australia. For information and guidelines go to: https://www.aidr.org.au/media/8496/raa21_guidelines_v10_20210306.pdf.
The Media Literacy Lab: The Alannah & Madeline Foundation, supported by Google.org, has worked with leading experts and educators to develop Media Literacy Lab – a new pilot program designed to help teachers build young Australians’ essential media literacy knowledge and skills via an innovative teaching and learning tool, and professional learning opportunities. See: https://medialiteracylab.org.au/about/. They have two upcoming PD workshops: Monday 29 March: Introduction to the Lab – Media Literacy Fundamentals; and Tuesday 30 March: Information Disorder – Countering Misinformation. Both are at 4-4.45 pm Daylight Saving Time (so: 3-3.45pm Qld time). The Lab aims to “empower young people to think critically, create responsibly, be effective voices and active citizens online”. To register please go to https://www.esmart.org.au/events/supporting-schools-this-year/#eSmartPDCalendar
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