by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Inside Teaching : June 2011
Inside Teaching | June 2011 INDIGENOUS INSIGHT 18 WE, AS EDUCATORS, HAVE A MAJOR ROLE, ARGUABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT ROLE WITHIN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY, TO DELIVER EDUCATION THAT IS EMPOWERING, AND THAT CREATES AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY. • many Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students have low self-esteem and sense of their own worth, particularly in situations where they are subjected to discriminatory behaviours from other students or teachers. As an Aboriginal educator, I’ve raised this issue over many years to little avail. But maybe it’s an issue whose time has come, given some recent actions, such as: • the increasingly biased and negative portrayals of Australia’s first peoples in the media since the Commonwealth government intervention in the Northern Territory back in 2007 under John Howard, subsequently maintained by the Commonwealth governments of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard • the recent Federal Court hearing of a complaint of racial vilification brought by nine complainants against the journalist Andrew Bolt, author of a series of articles published in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, and • the insulting Twitter entry by Larissa Behrendt, Professor of Law and Indigenous Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney, that, as a result of a subsequent media focus, caused considerable angst to Bess Price, the Warlpiri woman who was the subject of the insult, thereby returning the spotlight to the issue of who speaks for whom. Some may argue these are merely about testing the limits of our rights to free speech in Australian society or about a struggle around Indigenous leadership in terms of who has the right to speak for or about whom, but I’d argue they’re about more than that. They’re a symptom of the things that are not happening in our education systems to do with inclusiveness. The good news is that they deliver clear signals that the time is ripe for education to deliver on its implied universal promise – of providing an education to enable all students to become good citizens of the society in which they live. Research reveals that historical and continuing discrimination, even exclusion, has ensured the education promise has never been delivered to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Even worse, however, the research suggests that many of our educators lack an understanding of what is going on – or, perhaps more correctly, in the context of what education promises to deliver, what is not going on. We, as educators, have a major role, arguably the most important role within contemporary society, to deliver education that is empowering, and that creates an inclusive society. Our politicians like to boast about the egalitarianism that, they like to say, is quintiessential to what