Showing posts with label indigenous education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indigenous education. Show all posts

Monday, November 30, 2009

IOTY candidate Peter Hill

Hot on the heels of the last effort to cause prejudice against indigenous students by Julia Gillard, another well meaning idiot tries to load up the curriculum with ill advised nonsense.

Peter Hill suggests that we embed indigenous perspectives into all learning areas and force the indigenous agenda displacing topics with natural and seemless fits. When will these idealists realise that kids can spot an agenda a mile away? Ideas like this cause resentment against indigenous students in the classroom.

If we were talking about increasing indigenous content in History, Geography and English, I could imagine a number of synergistic fits.... but in Maths and science the fit typically is artificial and forced. Can you imagine exploring the chemical composition of the witchetty grub or exploring the physics of the boomerang? How about the mathematics of the dreamtime or health studies on indigenous foods?

Forced topics make poor topics.

In a time where we are trying to free the curriculum of modern agenda's and focus on basic performance, ideas like this should be left behind.

Peter Hill you have earned yourself an Idiot of the Year nomination.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Idiot of the year award (IOTY)

Chris Sarra you are my idiot of the year. You are a candidate for idiot of the century.

Calling those unfortunate souls that get country postings "White Trash" for their efforts in bringing education to the outback is nearly as bad as the Australian publishing this sensationalist tripe.

The article is here.

It takes a special sort of person to go to the outback and teach. Even in hard to teach metropolitan schools it can be difficult. At my school there are at least two people that put their careers aside to teach students like we were, and hopefully we make a difference.

I would suggest that if Chris Sarra feels so strongly about how indigenous students are being poorly treated he should get out there and encourage aboriginal students to become teachers in the outback.

"If I'm an incompetent principal of an Aboriginal school, lacking in courage to challenge parents about why their children are not attending school, it doesn't matter. Aborigines get the blame."

Teachers and schools cannot control whether students come to school. They can encourage students, work with elders in the community and implement government programs. If Chris is seeking to alienate all of us trying our best to help these kids, involved with tutoring and mentoring, policing and medical services, he has succeeded. If Chris thinks making schools into community policemen, reporting who should and shouldn't get welfare, I would suggest that he is attributing the wrong role to the wrong organisation. To do this would increasingly make schools a negative influence in family life rather than an enabling one. The whole ethos of schools is to advise and empower parents and students, not enforce community will onto the unwilling.

"They should tell the parents, 'If this goes on, I can refer you to the authorities because you're in breach of the Education Act. "

Chris clearly has a strange view on the ability of truant officers and community police. My understanding of what the authorities are empowered to do is check that students are OK and encourage parents to return students to school.

If a community does not value education and resists attempts to engage with education, they will become second class citizens - some elders understand this and drive their communities - schools can help but cannot be the driver.

"Dr Sarra says his success was due to challenging students to be strong, smart and act like 'Aborigines' instead of delinquents."

I feel for Chris in some little way as he has been successful in one community, I think his mistake is attributing his success to schooling rather than his ability to act as a community leader - by my reading of the article it was by encouraging students to be aboriginal and proud. It would be great to see this tempered with Australian and proud too. Connection with the community needs to become an increasing goal - with both sides reaching out to make our nation proud.