Aboriginal community engagement in primary schooling: Promoting learning through a cross-cultural lens
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This article reports on action research conducted at a primary school in rural New South Wales, Australia. The research responded to an expressed school aspiration to foster greater understanding of local Aboriginal culture, historical perspectives and knowledge systems within the school. An exploratory model was developed using a mixed methods approach to investigate non- Aboriginal teacher perceptions and self-efficacy with teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content specified in the Australian Curriculum. A Bush Tucker Garden was established as a 'Pathway of Knowledge' acting as a vehicle for collaboration between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal stakeholders. Through their participation in this project the teachers were brought together with local Gumbaynggirr Elders, creating a space for the sharing of social capital. Teacher cultural knowledge and understanding was strengthened, enriching the student's learning experience. The findings are of relevance to primary school teachers, curriculum stakeholders and education providers in the broader field of Aboriginal education.
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