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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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Articles

Accommodating Indigenous students' cultural resources in science classrooms

Philemon Chigeza
Lecturer, School of Education, James Cook University

The author takes two Year 9 science classes, composed entirely of Torres Strait Islander students, at a school in Far North Queensland. In 2007 and 2008 he introduced elements of Indigenous language and culture into the classes, and conducted a study measuring their impact on students' science learning. These resources include storytelling, ceremony, songs and ritual, as well as the diversity of their languages and dialects through which the students communicate and share knowledge. The article describes some ways in which these students' multiple strengths were brought to bear during four learning activities based around the concepts of energy and force.

Key Learning Areas

Science

Subject Headings

Social life and customs
Secondary education
Language and languages
Middle schooling
Queensland
Indigenous peoples
Torres Strait Islanders
Science teaching