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Reclaiming Aboriginal knowledge at the cultural interface
journal contributionposted on 01.08.2009, 00:00 authored by Tyson YunkaportaTyson Yunkaporta, Sue McGinty
Many studies and papers have explored and critiqued the “what” and the “why” of working at the cultural interface of mainstream curricula and local Indigenous knowledge, but this project sought to understand the “how”. Participants went beyond explorations of “cultural items” and worked in the overlap between the New South Wales Department’s Quality Teaching Framework and Indigenous Pedagogies drawn from local lore, language and the sentient landscape. Indigenous knowledge was used not merely as content, but to provide innovative ways of thinking and problem solving in the field of design and technology. The methodology for the study was based on a significant site in the local river system. The focus of the action research study shifted in the early stages from the students to the teachers, who required a radical shift in their thinking in order to set aside deficit logic, or stimulus-response approaches to teaching and learning, to embrace sophisticated Indigenous ways of knowing.