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Teaching Aboriginal Students

             a student's literacy, employment, social status and productivity. Yvonne Butler asserts Education is the greatest single weapon to overcome disadvantage. For this outcome to be achieved, students need to receive an education that enhances and promotes their Aboriginality. Educators need an understanding and skills to support Aboriginal students and integrate Indigenous perspectives in the curriculum. This can be achieved by placing a commitment to enhancing the knowledge and understanding of all students using culturally appropriate practices, strategies and resources.
             1. Elements of Best Practice .
             1.1 Breaking the Stereotypes.
             Best practice in Aboriginal education begins with developing a more positive and accurate perception of Aboriginality whilst breaking down stereotypical behaviours. To achieve this outcome, it is essential to prevent stereotypes by developing relationships with students and community members enabling the creation of a culturally responsive environment (Craven, 1999; Groome, 1995). In the classroom, this will promote belief and success in students resulting in the development of a positive self-identity and respect for culture (Groome, 1995).
             At the Cherbourg School, the staff and community initially held pitiable beliefs in the students and had watered down expectations of their behaviour and education (Sarra, 2007). Mr Sarra's initial goal was to shift the mindset that underachieving was normal (Newman, 2002; Winkler, n.d.). Essentially, he believed his students could be successful and educated individuals with a strong sense of cultural identity. .
             1.2 Recognising Indigenous Perspectives.
             It is essential for all individuals to "recognise, value and respect the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous people and be proud of this cultural heritage" (WAAETC, 2011). In the classroom, this is imperative to the growth of students, as indigenous people believe education is inseparable from culture and culture is the basis of Indigenous Education (Craven, 1999).

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