The Great Resistance
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Student resource: An Artwork

Student resource: An Artwork | The Great Resistance | Scoop.it

Danie Mellor- "Of Kingdoms and Glory"

Kate Dove's insight:

 

Content and Inquiry question:

CCS2.1: "Aboriginal resistance to the establishment of a British colony- significant people including Pemulwuy, achievements, events and places"

 

Inquiry question: How did Aboriginal people resist British colonisation and how does this affect all Australians now?

 

The purpose behind my inquiry question is that all students understand the different perspectives on the resistance of the Aboriginal people to British colonisation, particularly an Indigenous perspective, and to think about how a deeper knowledge of this effects the way that all Australians live and think now. At the conclusion of this unit of work, a discussion would be had with the whole class about what they have learnt and how this might shape the way they live.

 

 

 

Integration of key learning areas is a crucial aspect of teaching in the primary classroom; this artwork enables students to develop both their visual arts appreciation skills and their understanding of how the Aboriginal people responded to and resisted British colonisation, and how Indigenous people would have viewed the British culture in the years surrounding colonisation. Thus, this resource would enable fulfilment of both visual arts outcome VAS2.4, which requires students to “identify connections between subject matter in artworks and what they refer to, and appreciate the use of particular techniques” (Board of studies NSW, 2006, p. 30) and HSIE outcome CCS2.1, specifically the content concerning “Aboriginal resistance to the establishment of a British colony- significant people including Pemulwuy, achievements, events and places” (Board of studies NSW, 2006, p.55).

 

An Aboriginal/ Torres Strait Islander perspective is offered through this text, as the artist, Danie Mellor, a man of Aboriginal decent, explores how British colonisation would have appeared to the Aboriginal people and how this has greatly affected their lives and culture.

 

Art appreciation activities could be utilised to begin a lesson centred on this artwork, helping the students to view the piece in a detailed manner before discussing what it reveals about the Aboriginal people’s resistance to British colonisation. Encouraging a culture of in depth art appreciation is valuable within the classroom as “children need opportunities to look at and respond to works of art” and these skills will help develop other areas such as visual literacy (Ewing & Gibson, 2011, p.135). A guessing game could be played with the students to help them to observe the artwork in depth; this would involve a student choosing one aspect of the image, for example a kookaburra, and then the class would have to guess, by asking yes no questions, what they were thinking of. The teacher could prompt the students to ask questions involving the elements of art.

 

Critical questions could then be framed to the class and a discussion could be initiated in which the students discuss how they think the artist has communicated ideas about the Aboriginal people’s resistance to colonisation. Questions such as these could be asked:

 

-“how does this artwork show the Aboriginal people's resistance to British colonisation?”

-“how does the artist use colour to show this resistance or response?”

-“how does this artwork show the Aboriginal people?”

-“how does this artwork show the British people?”

 

 

References:

 

Board of studies New South Wales. (2006). Creative arts K–6 syllabus. Sydney: Board of Studies.

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human society & its environment K-6 syllabus. Sydney: Board of Studies.

 

Ewing, R. & Gibson, R. (2011). Transforming the curriculum through the arts. Palgrave Macmillan.

 

Mellor, D. (2009). Of Kingdoms and Glory [Mixed media on paper]. Retrieved from: http://www.craftaustralia.org.au/library/interview.php?id=danie_mellor_layering_histories

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Kate Dove's comment, April 5, 2014 12:26 AM
I have added my general introduction, involving my content and inquiry question to this post, as I was not able to add this text anywhere else.
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Student resource: A timeline

Kate Dove's insight:

Many significant historical events surrounding British colonisation and the Aboriginal peoples resistance are covered in this timeline, the dominant perspective being portrayed here is one of the original inhabitants of the land, the Aboriginal people. It’s crucial that as teachers we offer this perspective to our students, particularly since historically the British perspective has been taught, with little or no reference to the perspective of the Indigenous peoples.

 

 My focus dot point, in outcome CCS2.1, deliberately mentions “significant people including Pemulwuy, achievements, events and places”, highlighting these areas as important in giving students a greater understanding of Aboriginal resistance to British colonisation (Board of studies NSW, 2006, p.55). This timeline, which includes the Koori, Murri, Goori and Palawa storylines, major events and individuals involved in these peoples resistance, could be used to help students understand some of the historical facts surrounding this topic. This resource could be used as a starting point for the class, to gain a broader understanding of events, after which students could be split into small groups to undergo research into a more specific area. For example, the students in groups could each research the ways in which the four Aboriginal people groups responded to the British invading and create a poster to present this information to the class. The teacher would need to scaffold this activity heavily, giving students reliable sources containing the information that they would need to select, reword and present. The teacher could also help the students to think about poster design, connecting with some of the elements of media arts in presenting information.

 

A student centred approach is involved in this extensively self or group directed work, allowing the educational role of students to “go beyond the traditional view of student as customer or recipient of knowledge” (Williams & Williams, 2011, p.2). In this research and poster creating task, students are able to create their own learning experiences in the context of quality teacher scaffolding, rather than simply being told what they have to think. My aim in designing learning experiences such as these, is to help students to develop initiative, intrinsic motivation and crucially in the area of HSIE, to develop a “critical understanding of the issues they investigate” (Marsh, 2010, p.16).

 

References:

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human society & its environment K-6 syllabus. Sydney: NSW.

 

Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a teacher- knowledge skills and issues. Pearson Australia.

 

Williams, K & Williams, C. (2011). Five key ingredients for improving student motivation. Research in Higher Education Journal.

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Teacher resource: Case studies

Kate Dove's insight:

Aboriginal resistance to the establishment of a British colony is such a broad topic; I have chosen this resource because it narrows the topic down to four personal stories of Aboriginal resistance to British colonisation, making the content very concrete and personal for students. An explicit Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander perspective is offered as it explores, using a small selection of personal examples, some different ways that Aboriginal Australians responded to British colonisation, and to the question “How do we react to this situation” (National Museum of Australia and Ryebuck Media, 2008, p.1). However, the syllabus content that this dot point comes from is for a stage two class and this resource has been designed to be used by teachers with slightly older students. Thus, while some of the teaching ideas are helpful, they would need to be significantly altered to be used in a year 3 or 4 classroom. As a general rule, this teaching material would need to be scaffolded more, and appropriately filtered, as some of the material would be too confronting for stage two students.

 

Vygotsky’s theory of learning, that all students have a “zone of proximal development” in which they are able to “do tasks at higher levels if they are given assistance” leads teachers to see the importance of scaffolding in classroom practice (Marsh, 2010, p.47). For the teacher attempting to make use of this resource in the stage two classroom, they could either simply utilize the content within the resource and create their own scaffolded lessons with this, or use some of the structure that has been given in this resource to form an appropriate learning experience for their students. For example the table on page 3 could be simplified and done together as a whole class construction, giving the students a much more scaffolded environment in which to learn new content (National Museum of Australia and Ryebuck Media, 2008, p.3).

 

References:

 

Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a teacher- knowledge skills and issues. Pearson Australia.

 

National Museum of Australia and Ryebuck Media.  (2008). How did Aboriginal Australians resist British colonisation? Canberra: Author.

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Teacher/ student resource: A documentary

Windradyne, or Saturday as the British knew him, lived in peace with the newcomers in his country in western New South Wales until a tragic event leads him t...
Kate Dove's insight:

Windradyne and Pemulwuy are two of the most famous Aboriginal men thought of in the early British colonisation period, who resisted the British manner of invasion. This short clip about Windradyne, from the “First Australians” series, outlines the major events surrounding his resistance and the way in which the British reacted to his attempts to retain his culture and people, often with violence. This resource could be used both as a teacher tool, for an understanding of the life of Windradyne so as to teach this through other activities, or much of it could be used as a student resource, to be played in class and discussed. However, there are a few short scenes which could distress students in a stage two classroom, as they are about massacres and shootings, so these might need to be skipped over, with a teacher explanation about these events that is less graphic, but still truthful.

 

Students understanding of this complex topic could be developed by making use of this resource, as it offers many perspectives on the man Windradyne and his resistance to British colonisation. Through quality questioning and discussion students would be given the chance to strengthen their critical analyse skills, using the content of this video as their stimulus.

 

A literacy activity could be integrated into these lessons; after viewing the video and having a class discussion, the students could have a class debate around the question, “Should Windradyne have been an outlaw?” Half the class would be affirmative, coming from the historically British perspective and half the class would be the negative, from the perspective of Windradyne and his people. This activity would fulfil content in the English EN2-1A outcome, that students “understand and adopt the different roles in a debate, eg through experience of formal debates and role-playing” (Board of studies NSW, 2012). The teacher would need to supply the students with plenty of scaffolding for this activity, giving them a structure to follow and questions to ask.  The two groups would be asked to come up with three points that support their argument and they would present these alternately, like a small scale debate, choosing three people from each team to present their arguments.

 

Extra scaffolding could be given to the students to help them navigate group work with such a large group; for example there could be roles for everyone given out, so that each student had a chance to be involved and feel useful. Some of these roles could include the speakers, scribes, timers and rebutters.

 

This task is quite a challenging one for stage two students, however with high levels of teacher scaffolding, as Vygotsky suggests, students would be pushed to work in their zone of proximal development, leading to effective learning and development (McInerney & McInerney, 2010).

 

A similar video clip in the “First Australians” series, focusing on the resistance of Pemulwuy can also be sourced from YouTube, however I experienced some technical difficulties in playing this. If, as a teacher you could access this video, students could view it also and could undergo some compare and contrast activities using the stories of the two Aboriginal men.

 

References:

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2012). English K–10 Australian Curriculum draft syllabus. Sydney: NSW.

 

McInerney, D & McInerney, V. (2010). Educational psychology: Constructing learning. 5th Edition. Pearson Australia.

 

YouTube. (2014). Pemulwuy- First Australians. [online] Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Nh6TRRdmac [Accessed: 4 Apr 2014].

 

YouTube. (2014). Windradyne - First Australians. [online] Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm57Un8bsW0 [Accessed: 4 Apr 2014]. 

 

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Student resource: “The Rabbits”

Student resource: “The Rabbits” | The Great Resistance | Scoop.it
Kate Dove's insight:

“The Rabbits”, by Shaun Tan and John Marsden (1998), is a quality children’s book that explores, through an allegory, the experience of colonisation, from the perspective of the colonised. It is particularly drawn from research of the Aboriginal people’s experiences of British colonisation, however no time, place or name specifics are used; in this manner a global perspective on colonisation is offered through its lack of specific detail, challenging the readers with thoughts of what it must be like to be colonised, wherever their global context.

 

Literacy outcomes and content could easily be incorporated into a predominantly HSIE series of lessons using this resource as a stimulus. Visual literacy specifically would be an excellent focus for such literacy lessons, as this picture book uses text and images in significant ways to convey meaning from the view of the colonised. This would fulfil content from the outcome EN2-8B, “identify and interpret the different forms of visual information including animations and images” (Board of studies NSW, 2012).

 

Visual literacy skills could be developed through a series of questions and activities before, during and after reading the book together as a class, these all relating back to the HSIE content in outcome CCS2.1 in which students learn about “Aboriginal resistance to the establishment of a British colony- significant people including Pemulwuy, achievements, events and places” (Board of studies NSW, 2006, p.55). Visual literacy “is the ability to analyse the power of the image and the ‘how’ of its meaning in its particular context” and is important, as an understanding of visual literacy adds great meaning to many texts (Winch, Johnson, March, Ljungdahl & Holliday, 2010, p.602).

 

To help the students think about visual literacy before you begin reading, some examples of pictures from other picture books they have read could be shown and the teacher could explain some of the visual techniques that have been used in these to convey meaning, for example, vectors, high and low angles, shot distances, colours and text placement. The teacher would chose to focus on only some of these, the areas of visual literacy that they thought would be most useful to know for interpreting “The Rabbits”. To focus the students on colonisation and to help them to think about this issue personally, before reading the teacher could also initiate a classroom discussion around the question “what do you think it would feel like to have someone come into your home and take it over?”

 

During reading the teacher could ask questions such as “Where does your eye go naturally in this picture?”, “What colours are used and why?”, “Is the image at a close distance or a long way away?” and “How does this page make you feel?”

After reading the students could discuss if they thought the picture book tells us anything about the Aboriginal people’s resistance to British colonisation, and if so what have they added to their understanding about this part of history by reading this book.

 

References:

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2012). English K–10 Australian Curriculum draft syllabus. Sydney: NSW.

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human society & its environment K-6 syllabus. Sydney: NSW.

 

Marsden, J., & Tan, S. (1998). The rabbits. Port Melbourne, Vic: Lothian.

 

Winch, G., Johnson, R, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L. & Holliday, M. (2010) Literacy: Reading, writing and children's literature. (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic. : Oxford University Press.

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Kate Dove's comment, April 3, 2014 11:56 PM
An electronic version of the picture book could also be used in the classroom, as features such as music add meaning to the text and images. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTvXe84UqIQ<br><br>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZaROIWniN8<br><br>;