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Here’s How Indigenous Knowledge Is Being Used To Teach Science

It's all about getting Indigenous students to understand the contributions their people made to science, and getting non-Indigenous kids to respect the world’s oldest continuous culture.

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Indigenous Australians have been using science for millennia: observing the world, making predictions and testing hypotheses, and now science classrooms across the country are taking advantage of those 60,000 years of knowledge, with a new teacher resource unveiled today.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture is a ‘cross-curriculum priority’ in the Australian school curriculum. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) wants to see more teachers incorporate Indigenous knowledge into their classrooms to add a new dimension to what’s already being taught.

While it’s not mandatory for teachers, ACARA believe using it will help bring in a new era in education.

ACARA CEO David de Carvalho said they wanted Indigenous students to understand the contributions their people made to science, while also getting non-Indigenous kids to respect and recognise the world’s oldest continuous culture.

The resource is full of background information on different pieces of indigenous knowledge, technology and processes that relate to what’s being taught under the science curriculum.

These “elaborations” will help teachers prepare scientifically relevant, and culturally appropriate, classroom material.

It was developed in consultation with Indigenous educators across Australia and covers knowledge from pre-colonisation all the way up to present day.