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Unformatted text preview: Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation Claire Veronica Kelly B.A. Hons., G. Dip. Ed., G. Dip. Env. Sci. A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy School of Education College of Design & Social Context RMIT University March 2013 i Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation Declaration I certify that except where due acknowledgement has been made, the work is that of the author alone; the work has not been submitted previously, in whole or in part, to qualify for any other academic award; the content of the thesis is the result of work which has been carried out since the official commencement date of the approved research program; any editorial work, paid or unpaid, carried out by a third party is acknowledged; and, ethics procedures and guidelines have been followed. Claire Veronica Kelly March 2013 ii Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation Acknowledgements In submitting this thesis, I offer my respect to the Elders past and present, of the Boonwurrung and Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin nation, on whose land I live and work. I acknowledge this land was the place of age-old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal and that the Kulin people's living culture has a unique role in the life of the region. I would like to thank the following participants in this research. The Victoria University (VU) School of Education pre-service teachers who shared their experiences and questions with me in discussions during lectures and seminars from 2005 onwards, and particularly those who completed surveys in 2008 and 2009. VU School of Education colleagues Davina Woods and Bill Eckersley who shared their insights from our work together in the VU fourth year Bachelor of Education program. Davina was particularly generous in her support and teaching over the past five years. The experienced Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators who honoured me by sharing their stories. My supervisors, RMIT University Professor Heather Fehring and VU Associate Professor Tony Kruger, who have supported me throughout this journey. VU Professor Marie Brennan, a colleague from our earliest days as young teachers and union activists, provided wisdom and solidarity. My sincere thanks go to my children, Brenna and Evan, who were unerring in their support and their belief in this study. They read drafts and they encouraged me to make my conclusions explicit. And last but not least, thank you to Mary Clare Dalmau, dear friend and colleague, who was adamant that I had an important task to undertake and that I could accomplish that undertaking. Cultural warning Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples are warned that the resources, oral presentations and discussions in this thesis may contain the voices and/or images of deceased persons and images of places that could cause sorrow. There is no intention to harm. iii Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation Preface Thou shalt not steal In 1788 down Sydney Cove The first boat-people land Said sorry boys our gain's your loss We gonna steal your land And if you break our new British laws For sure you're gonna hang Or work your life like convicts With chains on your neck and hands…. They taught us Oh Oh Black woman thou shalt not steal Oh Oh Black man thou shalt not steal We're gonna civilize your Black barbaric lives And teach you how to kneel But your history couldn't hide the genocide The hypocrisy to us was real 'cause your Jesus said you're supposed to give the oppressed a better deal We say to you yes whiteman thou shalt not steal Oh yeah our land you'd better heal Your science and technology Hey you can make a nuclear bomb Development has increased the size to 3,000,000 megatons But if you think that's progress I suggest your reasoning is unsound You shoulda found out long ago You best keep it in the ground…. You talk of conservation Keep the forest pristine green Yet in 200 years your materialism Has stripped the forests clean A racist's a contradiction That's understood by none Mostly their left hand hold a bible Their right hand holds a gun (Carmody, 1989b). Reproduced with kind permission from Kev Carmody. iv Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation Table of Contents Preface Thou shalt not steal iv List of Figures ix List of Tables xi Summary 1 Chapter 1 The fundamental challenge for teacher educators 3 1.1 Introduction 3 1.2 Background 8 1.3 Education Policies 14 1.4 The Australian Story 16 1.5 Learning and Teaching 21 1.6 Significance of the study 25 1.7 Thesis outline 26 Chapter 2 The question of ‘whiteness’ 31 2.1 Epistemological perspectives 31 2.2 Reconciliation 37 2.3 Colonialism and Feminism 41 2.4 Educational perspectives 46 2.4.1 Multicultural perspectives 54 2.4.2. Representations of Aboriginality 57 2.5 Black Power 61 v Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation 2.5.1 2.6 Post colonial? 70 Listening to language Chapter 3 72 On the path of knowledge how might we find each other? 76 3.1 Introduction 76 3.2 Welcome to Country 77 3.3 Contested space 80 3.4 Critical theory and Constructivism 82 3.5 The Praxis Inquiry Protocol 84 3.6 Research methods 86 3.6.1 Historical research 87 3.6.2 Policy analysis 91 3.6.3 Pre-service teacher surveys 91 3.6.4 Collaborative self-study 93 3.6.5 Conversations with experienced Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators 3.7 96 Authenticity, Bias and Credibility 100 Chapter 4 Listening to pre-service teachers 103 4.2 Background 105 4.3 Curriculum and Innovation 108 4.4 Overview of the PST Surveys 111 4.5 PST surveys March 2008 and 2009 113 4.5.1 Little or no inclusion of Indigenous themes 114 4.5.2 Respecting Indigenous epistemologies in the classroom 116 4.5.3 Stolen Generations as a way of knowing about Indigenous culture? 117 vi Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.5.4 PST questions March 2008 and 2009 surveys 119 4.5.5 Any other comments 119 PST Surveys End of Semester 2 2008 and 2009 Surveys 119 4.6.1 Little or no inclusion of Indigenous themes 121 4.6.2 What did ‘inclusion’ look like? 122 4.6.3 What did ‘exclusion’ look like? 122 4.6.4 Multiculturalism 124 4.6.5 Including knowledge in an interview 124 Major Themes from the 2008 and 2009 PST surveys 125 4.7.1 Little inclusion of Indigenous themes in Victorian schools 125 4.7.2 Epistemological perspectives lead towards seeing Indigenous peoples as the exotic other and/or victims. 125 4.7.3 Making mistakes 126 4.7.4 The rubric of ‘multiculturalism’ 126 I still call Oz home 128 Chapter 5 Unity without assimilation: Collaborative self-study between Indigenous and non-Indigenous lecturers 131 5.1 Introduction 131 5.2 Background 133 5.3 Opening spaces 136 5.4 Working together 139 5.5 Praxis Inquiry 142 5.6 Colonial discourse 145 5.7 Big questions 149 5.7.1 Why so much emphasis on Indigenous issues? 149 5.7.2 So many different cultural diversities in Australia ? 151 vii Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation 5.8 What Works 153 5.9 The themes which emerge from this self-study 155 Chapter 6 Stand up and be counted: Conversations with experienced educators 159 6.1 Introduction 160 6.2 Dialogue process 161 6.3 Bruce Pascoe 163 6.4 Lyn Hovey 171 6.5 Jan Muller 175 6.6 Russ Swann 186 6.7 Penelope Irving 191 6.8 Davina B. Woods 194 6.9 Reflections on the themes raised in the data sets 204 Chapter 7 Decolonising the classroom: Becoming a reconciliatory learner/teacher 206 7.1 A Radical possibility 206 7.2 From Colonisation to Social Justice 210 7.3 Epistemology rules 215 7.4 Authentic student research 217 7.4.1 The Koorie Heritage Trust 218 7.4.2 The National Gallery of Victoria 220 7.4.3 Audio-visual resources 222 7.5 Reconciliatory Pedagogies 224 7.6 The new Australian Curriculum (in Victoria, AusVELS) 228 viii Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation Chapter 8 Inclusion not Exclusion 234 8.1 Limitations of the study 237 8.2 Future research 238 References 240 Appendices Appendix 1 Davina B. Woods (2006). Urban Songlines. Appendix 2 Prescribed Consent Form For Persons Participating In Research Projects Involving Interviews, Questionnaires, Focus Groups or Disclosure of Personal Information 276 Appendix 3 Permission to use Freddie Timms’ Ned Kelly (2000) 273 277 List of Figures Figure 1 “The revenge of the Whites as they are hunted down and shot like dogs”. Early European representation of the retaliation against Aboriginal hunters whose traditional food sources had been displaced by new animals brought by the colonisers. ........................................................................................ 6 Figure 2 Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Map of the 270 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Countries on the continent and islands now called Australia ................................................................. 8 Figure 3 Albert Namatjira Ghost Gum 1945 ........................................................... 10 ix Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation Figure 4 The Australia Book ................................................................................... 12 Figure 5 Collins Street, town of Melbourne, New South Wales, 1839 ..................... 17 Figure 6 Aboriginal Languages of Victoria .............................................................. 19 Figure 7 The four dimensions of the Praxis Inquiry Protocol in the P-12 Bachelor of Education at Victoria University ................................................................ 22 Figure 8 NAIDOC poster Unsung Heroes:Closing the gap by leadership their way. 30 Figure 9 White Australia has a black history: Don’t celebrate 1988 ......................... 37 Figure 10 Pay the rent: You are on Aboriginal land. ................................................. 43 Figure 11 The pretence of government consultation with Indigenous leaders ........... 50 Figure 12 Dexter Daniels addressing Sydney unionists on the Gurindji dispute ........ 53 Figure 13 Bunjil the Creator with his two Wirringan, or dingo helpers ....................... 55 Figure 14 Stars of Tagai: based upon a watercolour by Lieut.G.Tobin and drawings of the Tagai Constellation by Gizu and Mariget of Mabuiag. ......................... 55 Figure 15 Black Power salute. 1968 Olympics men’s 200 metres ............................. 61 Figure 16 1963 Yirrkala Bark Petitions...................................................................... 62 Figure 17 “Finders keepers ....!”................................................................................ 63 Figure 18 Aboriginal Tent Embassy established outside Parliament House, Canberra, Australia Day 1972. ................................................................................. 64 Figure 19 Aboriginal control of Aboriginal land.......................................................... 74 Figure 20 “If they want their land back – we want our beads and flour!!” ................... 75 Figure 21 Barunga statement ................................................................................... 90 Figure 22 Lin Onus 1994 Barmah Forest ............................................................. 102 Figure 23 Australian Bureau of Statistics Indigenous Population Map ..................... 105 Figure 24 National NAIDOC poster 2010. Unsung Heroes: Closing the Gap by leading their way 158 Figure 25 No Radioactive dump in Ngura, our Country. .......................................... 173 Figure 26 Abschol appeal brochure, 1967 .............................................................. 175 x Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation Figure 27 Ngarrmaliny Janama (Freddie Timms) Ned Kelly (2000) ........................ 206 Figure 28 Homes are sought for these children ...................................................... 220 Figure 29 8 Aboriginal ways of learning .................................................................. 226 Figure 30 Four elements of Aboriginal epistemology/ontology from the 8 ways Aboriginal pedagogy framework.............................................................. 227 List of Tables Table 1 Types of training respondents in each State/Territory had undertaken in the priority area of Indigenous Studies, from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into School History, 2000 ................................................................................................. 107 Table 2 VELS History Standards Years 5/6 and 9/10 ......................................... 127 Table 3 Two of the thirteen groups of the Curriculum Standards Framework SOSE (History, Geography and Economics) Learning Outcomes and Indicators for Year .. 134 Table 4 Significant dates in Australian electoral history ...................................... 146 Table 5 VU B.Ed. 4th Year Curriculum & Innovation 2009 Assessment Task 2 ... 150 Table 6 What Works principles of Good Education ............................................. 154 Table 7 Australian Curriculum Year 3 History Table 8 Strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and for Content Descriptions ............... 231 reconciliation in the new National Standards for Teacher Registration ...................... 233 xi Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation Summary This study examines the question of how teacher educators can support pre-service teachers to include Indigenous themes in their curriculum planning. In Australia for the last twenty years, bi-partisan educational policies from Commonwealth, State and Territory governments have expected that Universities will develop teacher education courses to promote ‘greater sensitivity towards Aboriginal issues and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’; and that ‘schools will educate all young Australians to acknowledge the value of Indigenous cultures and possess the knowledge, skills and understanding to contribute to, and benefit from, reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA), 2008, p. 27). However, my research demonstrates that for a significant number of pre-service teachers preparing to work in Victorian Primary and Secondary schools there is a continuing spectrum of resistance to the inclusion of Indigenous themes in school curricula. The evidence is drawn from three data sets: First, in 2008 and 2009 fourth year preservice teachers (PSTs) at Victoria University, Melbourne completed surveys which identified their experiences of learning about Indigenous history and contemporary issues in their own Primary and Secondary education, in their University studies and their teaching placements; and their questions and comments in regard to including Indigenous perspectives in their own curriculum planning. Second, collaborative selfstudy was undertaken by Indigenous and non-Indigenous lecturers working with the 2009 cohort of those PSTs to support them to include Indigenous themes in their curriculum planning. Third, experienced Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators talk about their own experiences of schooling, about events that shaped their understanding of the silencing of Indigenous voices and about their determination that it is possible to challenge colonial perspectives and take steps on the path of reconciliatory education and action. The analysis is informed by Critical Theory and Constructivist understandings of the nature and purpose of education whereby social justice will be evident in teacher education if and when the agents of education ask questions with morally informed content about their own practices and those of the schools and systems in which they are embedded. I examine the challenge to the academy from Indigenous scholars to respond to the question of ‘whiteness’, to the reproduction and recreation of knowledge which continues the hegemony of colonial perspectives of who we are as Australians. 1 Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation The study explores the complexities for PSTs and teacher educators working in the context of government policies which expect educators to include Indigenous history and continuing struggles for social, economic and political rights as important elements of Australian history, without recognising the co-existence of Indigenous epistemologies and ways of knowing and without engaging with Indigenous demands for recognition of continuing sovereignty. The results show that a significant number and cross-section of teacher education students in this study had little or no experience of the inclusion of Indigenous themes in their own schooling or in their teaching placements. The curriculum guidelines in place during their schooling and their teaching placements (which outline what teachers were expected to present to their students) have encouraged the exclusion of themes to which teachers are either resistant or are not confident about, by crowding the curriculum, by not providing appropriate professional development and by not situating Indigenous experience as an essential part of the story of who we are as Australians. Without confronting the colonial discourse which supports the representation of Indigenous peoples as ‘the other’, or as victims, in University and school curricula, teacher educators will be unable to support PSTs to include Indigenous themes in their curriculum planning. Indigenous history and contemporary concerns will continue to languish in the face of competing demand on teachers’ time and expertise, resulting in the exclusion of Indigenous knowledge and experience from the Australian story. As a non-Indigenous teacher educator I am aware of the contested ground on which this study is based. Many Indigenous educators suspect that non-Indigenous people still wish to control Indigenous knowledge and maintain compliance with the continuing dominance of non-Indigenous epistemologies. This reality will continue to create challenges for educators and education systems in Australia. I offer some examples of the resources and activities that have helped to begin the process of breaking through the paradigm of colonialism and opened the minds and hearts of PSTs to the possibilities for reconciliatory education in decolonising classrooms. This research contributes new perspectives to debates in teacher education about the philosophical and practical constraints on teacher educators and PSTs to include Indigenous themes in their curriculum planning. It proposes that Indigenous epistemologies and experiences must be recognised as co-existent with nonIndigenous epistemologies and experiences if we are to become reconciliatory learners/teachers. 2 Reconstructing the Australian story: Learning and Teaching for Reconciliation Chapter 1 The fundamental challenge for teacher educators Attempts by Indigenous peoples to assert and protect legally recognised rights to native title, to seek justice for the indecencies which resulted in the stolen generations, to plan, through self determination, a future for our children which will overcome the tragedies of the past—all of these have been shoved aside in a climate of racial intolerance and hostility. This is the fundamental challenge …how to again rebuild the relationship between Indigenous and other Australians. How to reconcile us together, as citizens of one united Australia, with futures which are inextricably intertwined (Yu, 1998, p. 9). The decision to play The Apology through the PA and have all classes st...
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