Excerpt from EDFD468 Reflective Journal Assessment
Entry 4: Monday 17th October, 2016
Indigenous knowledge in the classroom

According to research: “Australian Indigenous students were reported as about two and a half years behind non-
Indigenous students in reading, mathematics and science” (Thomson & DeBortoli, as cited in Groundwater – Smith,
Ewing, & Le Cornu, 2011, p.55). Having discovered this notion, I realised I have a limited knowledge base of the
characteristics of these students and how to support and further their learning and engagement in the classroom. I had
recently discussed with my peers that I would thoroughly like to move to the Northern Territory to work with students in
Australian Indigenous communities. As a result of this, extend my knowledge of how to integrate indigenous
knowledge into the Australian classroom and understanding of effective methods that cater for the learning needs of
these students in practice has become an area in which I intend to further explore.

Reflecting on Entry 4: Thursday 20th October, 2016
Of particular interest for me is the importance of including appropriate Australian Indigenous children’s literature in the
classroom that avoids the negative connotations such as ‘windows and mirrors’ that can be associated with introducing
dismissive and inappropriate representations of culture and peoples (Price, 2012) This is a crucial consideration in
relation to my responsibilities of becoming an accredited educator (AITSL, 2011). It has been reassuring knowing that
there are multiple strategies to be culturally respectful and inclusive towards Australian Indigenous and Torres Strait
Islander students across the curriculum. Beale (2012) puts forward the ideas of having authentic artefacts in the
classroom and opportunities for storytelling and yarn circles. This has been a successful strategy I have seen within a
PEP in a Visual Arts lesson, where the Foundation to Grade 2 students had been exploring authentic Indigenous art
forms and their ways of story telling and educating others through their social and cultural values. These notions in
relation to Australian Indigenous students and their culture in the classroom also pinpoint the necessity to ensure to
provide a culturally inclusive classroom that caters to the diversity of all students in an increasingly multicultural society
(Williams, 2012).