|Scooped by Jen Whyte|
The Global Words website is an initiative of World Vision Australia and the Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA). It presents twelve units of work designed to integrate English teaching with global citizenship education.
The ‘Stories that Unite Us’ unit provides opportunities for students to appreciate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and in particular the importance of the oral storytelling tradition, beginning with the picture book You and Me: Our Place (written by Leonie Norrington and illustrated by Dee Huxley). This website provides a number of teaching suggestions to accompany this book many of which would be suitable or adaptable for Stage 1 students, including examination of the front cover and prediction of the characters and story.
You and Me: Our Place is a story about connections between old and young, and the way history is handed down between the generations in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Two young boys spend their days fishing with old Uncle Tobias, and hunting for bush tucker in the sand and mangroves. Uncle Tobias tells stories of the past when his family came to fish in this place, connecting the boys with past generations. This book represents the idea that within Aboriginal cultures, narratives and yarning have been key to thinking, learning, doing, knowing and being for many thousands of years (Yunkaporta & Kirby, 2011, p.205).
In addition to reading and discussing You and Me: Our Place, a teacher could invite a representative from the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council (http://www.glalc.org.au/) to present story about their country and their culture, as Cabramatta Public School sits on their land.
Introducing this local perspective enhances the sense that the school is part of the wider community, and embraces the notion that knowledge and stories are closely associated with land (Stevens & McDonald, 2011, p.392)
Furthermore, the NSW DET Aboriginal Education and Training Policy highlights the importance of incorporating the values and practices of local Aboriginal communities into mainstream education (NSW DET Aboriginal Education and Training Directorate, 2009, p.14).
New South Wales Department of Education and Training Aboriginal Education and Training Directorate. (2009). Aboriginal Education and Training Policy: An Introductory Guide. Retrieved from https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/policies/students/access_equity/aborig_edu/aetp_intro.pdf
Norrington, L. (2007). You and Me: Our Place. Kingswood, Australia: Working Title Press.
Stevens, V., & McDonald, H. (2011). Incorporating Aboriginal perspectives and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in SOSE. pp.385-402
Yunkaporta, T., & Kirby, M. (2011). Yarning up Indigenous Pedagogies: A Dialogue About Eight Aboriginal Ways of Knowing. In Purdie, N., Milgate, G., & Bell, H. (Eds), Two way teaching and learning: toward culturally reflective and relevant education (pp.205-213). Camberwell, Australia: ACER Press